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MORE than 100 Insulate Britain protesters have been served with an injunction against their road-blocking demonstrations, the High Court heard today.
The protesters have blocked major roads including the M25 and the M4 in recent weeks, and have defied the three court injunctions in place, most recently on roads across London on Monday.
The original injunction, granted to National Highways on September 21, banned demonstrations on the M25 and was followed by one on September 24 that restricted protests around the Port of Dover.
A third injunction was granted on Saturday, banning protesters from obstructing traffic and access to motorways and major A roads in and around London.
In the first hearing open to journalists over the injunctions, David Elvin QC, representing National Highways, told the court the agency wished to adjourn the hearing so all three injunctions could be discussed together.
He said that 111 demonstrators had been served with an injunction either in person or via alternative forms of service.
The case was adjourned until next Tuesday for a hearing expected to last two to three hours where members of Insulate Britain may be able to make legal arguments.
The short court hearing came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson branded protesters who have blocked major roads “irresponsible crusties” this morning. The PM claimed the Insulate Britain protesters have been “doing considerable damage to the economy.”
In response, Insulate Britain spokesman Tim Gough said: “I think it’s quite funny really. I mean Boris is good at a joke, he’s very good with words, he’s a great wordsmith, we all know that.
“He can call us what he likes. That’s no problem to us, what we’re interested in is not words but policies and, more importantly, actions — that the government takes action, that Boris actually takes concrete action on this point.”
The PM’s comments followed Home Secretary Priti Patel’s confirmation of plans for new measures against groups such as Insulate Britain and Extinction Rebellion in her Tory conference speech.
She told party members: “Measures already going through Parliament will ensure these criminals can be brought to justice for the disruption they are causing.
“But we are going further to close down the legal loopholes exploited by these offenders.
“I will also increase the maximum penalties for disrupting a motorway, criminalise interference with key infrastructure such as roads, railways and our free press, and give the police and courts new powers to deal with the small minority of offenders intent on travelling around the country causing disruption and misery across our communities.”
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