Brexit protest: Nude environmental protesters storm public gallery during Commons debate

Scotland Yard arrests 12 climate change demonstrators, including one who glued themselves to security glass

Tom Barnes
Monday 01 April 2019 19:00 BST
MPs distracted from Brexit debate as group of nearly-naked 'climate justice' environmental protesters interrupt from public gallery

Twelve partially nude protesters have been arrested after storming the public gallery in the House of Commons in a demonstration against climate change.

A dozen members of the direct action group Extinction Rebellion stripped off as MPs debated a series of indicative votes due to take place later on Monday in a bid to break the Brexit impasse in Parliament.

Protesters stood in a line with their backsides pressed against the security glass of the public gallery. Most were only wearing knickers or underpants, while two were dressed in elephant masks.

On their bodies were written the words “Climate justice act now” and “eco collapse”.

Police arrived and began carrying protesters out of the chamber after they appeared to refuse to leave voluntarily.

Some of the group glued their hands to the security glass at the front of the public gallery.

“Extinction Rebellion activists arrested in attempt to get politicians to act on the Climate and Ecological Crisis,” the group wrote on Twitter.

Extinction Rebellion protesters strip in the Commons public gallery to draw attention to climate change

“We are walking dangerously close to irreversible climate collapse — this is what it has come to.”

The Metropolitan Police said it had arrested 12 people on suspicion of outraging public decency, while officers had “negotiated” with one naked protester who had successfully glued themselves to a window.

Some MPs in the chamber could be heard to gasp, while others were seen to laugh at the spectacle.

“I encourage everyone to look in this direction rather than another direction,” said Labour MP Peter Kyle, who had been speaking when the protest began.

Mr Kyle went on to add several puns referring to the protest to his speech.

“The naked truth is Mr Speaker, that 202 members have loyally voted for the prime minister’s deal three times now,” he said, to calls of “enough” from other members.

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Speaker John Bercow told MPs to ignore the demonstration and continue with the debate, which had been organised to discuss a series of indicative votes due to take place on Monday evening.

The votes on various alternative options for Brexit are taking place in an attempt to find whether any plan could possibly win a majority in the Commons.

Additional reporting by PA

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