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Climate change: Insulate Britain activists plan new protests, court hears

Insulate Britain activists are planning to resume their protests in spring 2022, a court has heard today.

A group of protesters are today on trial in the High Court, facing allegations of breaching injunctions issued to prevent their climate change protests.

Police intelligence suggests that Insulate Britain members will resume their protests in the spring, the legal representative for National Highways Ltd, which is bringing the legal action, told the court.

Lord Justice Dingemans issued a warrant for the arrest of one of the activists, 62-year-old Dr Diane Warner of Bristol, who did not attend court. She is not answering calls or emails from her solicitors, the court heard.

Catherine Oborne, for Warner, said repeated attempts had been made to contact her over the last 24 hours, but were unsuccessful.

Myriam Stacey QC, for National Highways Ltd, argued that Dr Warner had made a conscious decision to defy the court and today took part in an action in Yorkshire, trying to delay a train heading for the Drax power station.

The breaches relate to an Insulate Britain protest on the M25, which led to tailbacks of 2.5 miles (4km), when activists blocked the carriageways and glued themselves to the road.

The other activists due to face contempt of court proceedings at the Royal Courts of Justice are: Dr Ben Buse, Ruth Jarman, Biff Whipster Paul Sheeky, Richard Ramsden, Stephen Gower, Steven Pritchard and the Rev Sue Parfitt.

Rev Parfitt, an Anglican priest from Bristol, said: “It’s a pretty scary sort of experience.

“I feel deeply called to do this because I think it’s the only kind of action left to do in the dire (climate) emergency we are in.”

The 79-year-old said she would not go on hunger strike should she be sent to prison, as others have done.

She said: “It is extreme action that we have taken, and we shall continue to take when we are out of prison, because what else can we do?

“At my age, what have I got to lose? I have everything to gain in the sense of doing what I believe to be God’s will – that gives me total contentment and peace of mind.”

A further 17 climate activists face being summoned to the High Court at later dates, the group said last month.

Since September, the protesters have disrupted traffic around the UK and particularly on the M25, demanding that the Government insulate Britain’s “leaky homes” and end deaths it says are caused by winter fuel poverty.

A number of High Court injunctions against the group’s road blockades have been granted to Transport for London and National Highways to prevent their disruptive protests.

Those who breach the injunctions could be found in contempt of court and face a maximum penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.

Watch the Daily Climate Show at 6.30pm Monday to Friday on Sky News, the Sky News website and app, on YouTube and Twitter.

The show investigates how global warming is changing our landscape and highlights solutions to the crisis.

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