Twenty-three activists have been arrested after Just Stop Oil protesters climbed gantries on the M25.

Motorists faced chaos this morning (November 7) after the protesters held demonstrations across different M25 sections in London, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Kent.

Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist branded the demonstrations as “criminality” with the intention of disrupting thousands of people’s lives.

News Shopper: Some protesters were seen climbing a gantrySome protesters were seen climbing a gantry (Image: Surrey Police)

Speaking to journalists on Monday, he said: “This isn’t protest, this is criminality where people are taking extremely hazardous steps disrupting the M25.

“This action is grossly disproportionate to any legitimate aim that this group may have. This is criminality and we’ll treat it as such.”

News Shopper: Police have arrested several after Just Stop Oil protests began across the M25Police have arrested several after Just Stop Oil protests began across the M25 (Image: PA)

Of the 23 arrested, Hertfordshire Police said five people had been arrested after protesters attempted to climb overhead gantries at various junctions.

Essex Police arrested three people after being called to two incidents.

The motorway, England’s busiest, was cleared by Monday afternoon, Mr Twist said.


The Metropolitan Police arrested seven people before Monday’s protest on suspicion of “conspiracy to intentionally or recklessly cause public nuisance”, a new offence under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

“We suspected that the intent of the individuals involved was completely disproportionate to any legitimate right to protest,” Mr Twist said.

News Shopper: Police have arrested several after the Just Stop Oil protestsPolice have arrested several after the Just Stop Oil protests (Image: PA)

As well as the arrests, police believe that some of those involved in the demonstrations could have breached a High Court injunction obtained by the Highways Agency.

Just Stop Oil has vowed to continue its action, saying it will demonstrate “every day” until the group’s demand for no new oil and gas in the UK is met.

According to the Met, which is conducting the operation in conjunction with the National Police Coordination Centre (NPoCC), more than 10,000 officer shifts have been dedicated to policing Just Stop Oil protests since the start of October.

Just Stop Oil staged 32 days of disruption from the end of September and throughout October, which the Met said resulted in 677 arrests with 111 people charged, and officers working a total of 9,438 additional shifts.

The climate change action group has been calling on the Government to abandon plans to licence more than 100 new oil and gas projects by 2025, and to do more to help people with their skyrocketing energy bills.

According to the group, since its campaign began on April 1, Just Stop Oil supporters have been arrested nearly 2,000 times, and five are currently in prison.