Green activists Insulate Britain blocked the same junction of the M25 twice in less than six hours.

The group blocked Junction 3 of the M25, the Swanley Interchange, in Kent at about 7.30am on Wednesday morning, before returning at 1pm.

During the second demonstration, about 20 activists in high-vis jackets blocked the roundabout while one man superglued himself to a police car.

Officers from Kent Police could be heard asking protesters if they were aware they were obstructing a highway before telling them they were under arrest.

Protesters who were not glued to the floor were dragged or carried by officers to the centre of the roundabout.

A further 16 arrests were made in addition to the 11 made this morning.

All 27 people are being held in custody.

The High Court injunction obtained by the Government means anyone blocking the motorway could be found to be in contempt of court, which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison or an unlimited fine.

But Ms Townsend said: “It has been very difficult for the police because if they charge the protesters with a relatively minor offence, it is likely to be discontinued.

“If they try to elevate the charge to a more serious one, they are finding it is not reaching the necessary threshold.

“The public deserves to see a response from all parts of the criminal justice system and it is unfair for the police to be blamed if people do not end up before the courts.”

Insulate Britain, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, said in a statement: “We are going nowhere. You can raid our savings. You can confiscate our property. You can deny us our liberty and put us behind bars.

“But shooting the messenger can never destroy the message: that this country is going to hell unless you take emergency action to stop putting carbon into the air. Boris get on with the job.”

Wednesday was the seventh day that the group has targeted the M25.

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