Greenpeace activists arrested but questions remain over Sunak’s commitment to new oil and gas

The four Greenpeace activists who draped 200 sq metres of oil-black fabric over the Prime Minister’s £2m manor house in Yorkshire have been arrested by North Yorkshire police.


Photos and footage of the live action can be found here

The four Greenpeace activists who draped 200 sq metres of oil-black fabric over the Prime Minister’s £2m manor house in Yorkshire earlier this morning in a peaceful protest over his backing for a major expansion of North Sea oil and gas drilling have been arrested by North Yorkshire police.

The activists spent a total of five hours on top of Rishi Sunak’s luxury mansion, which was unoccupied at the time of the protest, after using ladders and climbing ropes to safely reach the top of the building. They decided early this afternoon to come down following discussions with the police, who arrived at the scene earlier in the morning.

Sunak has come under heavy criticism for pushing ahead with plans to hand out around 100 new oil and gas licences in the North Sea, and even more in future, despite multiple warnings from the government’s own climate advisers, the International Energy Agency and the UN Secretary General that any new fossil fuel projects risk tipping the world into the danger zone above 1.5C of warming.

Greenpeace UK’s climate campaigner, Philip Evans, said:

“Our activists have come down, having delivered their message to the Prime Minister who’s holidaying 5,000 miles away. It’s time for Sunak to decide which side he is on – Big Oil’s profits or our future on a habitable planet? 

“By ignoring the stark warnings of his own advisors, energy experts and the UN, and committing to a climate-wrecking drilling frenzy in the North Sea, the Prime Minister is pouring fuel on the wildfires, floods and unprecedented heat waves that are ruining lives and livelihoods right around the world. The buck stops with him, and he must take sole responsibility for the devastation he is unleashing.

“The oil and gas that Sunak wants to ‘max out’ will not lower our bills and it won’t make the UK more energy secure, since it is owned by the multinational fossil fuel giants that extract it, not the UK. Don’t believe these lies. The only way we can get cheaper energy, warmer homes, lower bills and a safe, habitable planet is if we transition as fast as possible to a clean, renewable energy system and properly insulated homes.”

Safety was the top priority for the activists when carrying out this action. The activists ensured that neither Rishi Sunak nor any of his family members were in the house before carrying out the protest. All of Greenpeace’s activists are rigorously trained to make sure people remain safe during the protest and that no damage was caused to Sunak’s property.

Evans added:

“Our action today was entirely peaceful and we were diligent in ensuring that no one was home and that no damage would be done to the property. We have cooperated fully with the police and the activists have been taken into custody. 

“We felt it was important to take this message directly to the Prime Minister’s doorstep today, since it is Sunak himself that has signed off on the decision to grant these licences and it is Sunak who holds the power to reverse this decision. So we ask the Prime Minister once more – Rishi Sunak, whose side are you on – Big Oil’s profits or our future?”


Notes to editor:

Greenpeace UK press release: Climbers drape Sunak’s £2m mansion in oil-black fabric as PM commits to fossil fuel frenzy

Contact: Greenpeace UK Press Office / 020 7685 8255

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