White van man ploughs through Just Stop Oil protesters as drivers beg them to move

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A van driver was captured ploughing through a group of Just Stop Oil protesters this morning.

Footage also showed a fire engine being blocked by the activists – and eventually let through – as they brought traffic to a grinding halt in in Knightsbridge, west London.

Drivers got out of their cars and pleaded with them to move, after some glued themselves down to the road to protest new fossil fuel licences.

The environmental group tweeted: “At 10am, 32 supporters of Just Stop Oil established 3 road blocks on Knightsbridge and Brompton Rd, stopping traffic in either direction.

“Some have glued on. All are expected to be arrested.”

Just Stop Oil has staged demonstrations for 11 days in a row, with yesterday seeing 25 activists arrested after blocking The Mall outside Buckingham Palace.

Around two dozen in high-visibility orange vests sat in the road holding banners on Monday morning.

The protesters, who travelled from Scotland, said they felt the need to act after the UK Government gave its backing in September to an expansion of oil and gas operations in the North Sea.

The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) is expected to undertake a new round of oil and gas licensing this month.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said that could lead to more than 100 new licences being granted, which he claimed could “safeguard” UK energy supplies and support more than 70,000 jobs in Scotland.

But Emma Brown, who was among the demonstrators in London on a rainy morning, described the new licences as “a death sentence for all of us here”.

The 31-year-old, who lives in Glasgow and was attending her first such protest, made a reference to the well-known Proclaimers hit when she said that the activists “would walk 500 miles” to “just stop oil”.

She said: “We’ve come down because the Government is pressing ahead with over 100 new fossil fuel licences.

“And that is literally a death sentence for all of us here and for all of you. So we can’t allow this to continue. We have to have a cut-off somewhere.

“We’ve seen the effects already on our doorstep. We’re seeing the effects all over the globe. And this madness has to stop.”

A Government spokesperson earlier said: “We remain fully committed to reaching net zero by 2050 and the UK is forging ahead of many other countries on net zero – with 40% of our power now coming from cleaner and cheaper renewable sources.

“But with Russia weaponising energy across Europe, we must make sure we do so in a way that protects energy security, by boosting homegrown energy supply and reducing our dependence on foreign imports.

“This includes increasing domestic gas supply, which we’ve always been clear will have a role in our transition to net zero.

“But we will also continue to drive forward our commitments on nuclear and renewables like offshore wind.”