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Sunday April 21, 2024

UK climate activists face criminal charges over protest at PM Sunak’s home

Protesters draped huge sheets of black fabric over Sunak’s residence in Yorkshire, northern England

By REUTERS
February 21, 2024
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak can be seen in this image. — AFP/File
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak can be seen in this image. — AFP/File

LONDON: Three Greenpeace activists will be charged with criminal damage after they climbed onto the roof of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s home last year in protest at the government’s plans to grant hundreds of licences for North Sea oil and gas extraction.

Mathieu Soete, 38, Amy Rugg-Easey, 33, and Alexandra Wilson, 32, will each be charged with a single count of criminal damage, and will appear in court on March 21, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

The protesters draped huge sheets of black fabric over Sunak’s residence in Yorkshire, northern England, while he was out of the country.

Greenpeace said the protest was peaceful and they would dispute the charges.

“The protest took place at one of Sunak’s several houses, and great care was taken to make sure it was staged while the family were holidaying in California,” the campaign group said in a statement.The group unfurled black fabric from atop the house to cover it in darkness, along with signs reading ‘No New Oil’.

Greenpeace said it draped his home in ‘200sq m of oil-black fabric’ in a protest at his backing for a major expansion of North Sea oil and gas drilling.

At the same time, two further activists on the ground unfurled a banner featuring the words ‘Rishi Sunak - Oil Profits or Our Future?’ across the grass in front of the house.