Fuel Supplies: Environmental Protests

Home Department – in the House of Commons at on 25 April 2022.

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Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

What recent discussions she has had with police forces to help ensure that oil depots are able to supply fuel to petrol stations in the context of recent environmental protests.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

In advance of the recent irresponsible and self-defeating protests, there has been regular engagement with the police, local authorities and industry to ensure that these protests can be managed effectively, and that there is no risk to fuel supply. All fuel supply points are fully operational, and we will continue to work closely with the police and industry to ensure that supplies are maintained.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

Does the Minister agree that while the right to protest is a fundamental liberty, this type of behaviour just infuriates the public, whom we need to get on side with our net zero campaign? It is particularly unfair to the self-employed. If they cannot get fuel for their vehicles, they cannot get to work and they do not get paid. Will he ensure that the police and the law stay on the side of the law-abiding, so that everyone can earn an income?

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

I certainly will ensure that, and my hon. Friend is right to point out the impact, particularly on those who rely on their vehicles for their work, of these irresponsible and self-defeating protests, many of which have been extremely dangerous. It is worth also reflecting on the other impact, which is that hundreds of police officers are pulled away from policing neighbourhoods across the UK, because forces provide each other with mutual aid. We have brought police from as far away as Scotland, the south-west and Wales to help deal with these protests, and that has a direct impact on crime in all our constituencies. We are all committed environmentalists and want less use of fossil fuels, but this is not the way to achieve it.