Tory MP calls for Just Stop Oil to be proscribed a ‘terrorist organisation’

Conservative former minister Gareth Johnson called on Rishi Sunak to make Just Stop Oil a “proscribed organisation” meaning they would be classed as terrorists. The MP for Dartford made the requestat Prime Minister’s Questions claiming the group, which campaigns against fossil fuels, was more dangerous than just a protest group. Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary may proscribe an organisation if they believe it is concerned in terrorism. Johnson’s constituency includes the Dartford Crossing which was closed by a protest..This month frustrated motorists clashed with demonstrators blocking roads across London with dozens of protesters arrested for refusing to move. Read MoreThe MP said in the Commons: “Last month Just Stop Oil clambered up the Dartford Crossing causing chaos for days. They then attacked artworks, the M25 and anything else to cause misery and mayhem.“These people are not protesters, they are criminals. Will the Prime Minister therefore consider making Just Stop Oil a proscribed organisation so that they can be treated as the criminal organisation they actually are?”Prime Minister Rishi Sunak repsonded: “The kinds of demonstrations we’ve seen recently disrupt people’s daily lives, they cause mass misery for the public and they put people in danger.“The police have our full support in their efforts to minimise this disruption and tackle reckless and illegal activity.“The Public Order Bill will give them the powers they need.”Two Just Stop Oil protesters who climbed up the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and blocked the Dartford Crossing were eventually removed by police and arrested last month but only after causing mayhem on the M2 for two days. The protests were part of more than two weeks of action which saw demonstrators glue themsleves to main roads in and around London, deface government buildings and even causing criminal damage to a Van Gogh artwork. Two Just Stop Oil protesters were on Tuesday found guilty of causing criminal damage to a Vincent Van Gogh painting’s frame after gluing themselves to it.Louis McKechnie, 22, and Emily Brocklebank, 23, caused about £2,000 of damage to the frame of Peach Trees In Blossom at London’s Courtauld Gallery.McKechnie was jailed for three weeks while Brocklebank received a suspended sentence at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.