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Activists scale BP building in oil spill protest

Activists scaled the BP building today in protest at the massive oil spill caused by an explosion on an offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Campaigners from Greenpeace hoisted a flag depicting the oil giant's logo smothered in oil and emblazoned with the words "British Polluters" above the entrance of the company's UK headquarters in central London.

At least six million gallons of oil have poured into the sea since the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank on April 20, killing 11 workers.

The protest comes after BP's board met yesterday to discuss the impact of the disaster, with chief executive Tony Hayward participating from the US, where he is overseeing efforts to tackle the spill.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said about eight protesters were thought to be on the roof of the building in central London.

He said: "Police were called at approximately 5am to reports of protesters on the roof of a building in St James's Square, SW1.

"Officers are in attendance and have been speaking to the protesters. There have been no arrests."

One of the climbers, Ben Stewart, 36, from north London, said: "The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico can be traced back to decisions made in this building.

"Under Tony Hayward's leadership, BP has taken huge risks to pump oil from ever more remote places, while slashing investment in the clean energy projects that could actually help reduce our dependence on oil and beat climate change.

"BP's bright green logo is a pathetic attempt to distract our attention from the reality of what this company is doing, both in the Gulf of Mexico but also in places like the tar sands of Canada.

"Tony Hayward's reckless approach will cause more disasters unless action is taken to stop him."