Boris Johnson has called Insulate Britain activists “irresponsible crusts” following the group’s recent attempts to disrupt traffic in south east England.
The prime minister said the climate organization had “done significant damage” to the economy.
His comments come ahead of Interior Minister Priti Patel’s speech at the Conservative Party conference on Tuesday, in which she will introduce new measures to deal with protesters perceived as disturbing.
On Tuesday morning, Mr. Johnson told LBC, “There are some people who call these people legitimate protesters.
“They aren’t. I think they are irresponsible criminals who are basically trying to stop people from going about their daily jobs and causing significant damage to the economy.
“So we took authority and Priti Patel is doing the right thing to put in authority so they can get six months or an unlimited fine.”
The Home Secretary is expected to confirm plans for tougher powers against Insulate Britain and Extinction Rebellion in her conference speech.
Insulate Britain protesters have blocked major roads such as the M25 and M4 in recent weeks.
A restraining order was issued to prevent their blockade of the M25, but demonstrations continued, most recently on streets across London on Monday.
The group calls on the government to fully fund the isolation of all public housing by 2025 and low-energy, low-carbon home retrofitting by 2030.
Ms. Patel is preparing to announce an increase in the maximum penalties for disrupting a motorway while criminalizing interference in main roads, railways and the press.
The Home Office will also give new powers to the police and courts to deal with the “small minority of offenders” who are “intended” to travel across the country to “cause disruption and misery in our communities”.
Ms. Patel will also use her conference address to announce an expansion of the investigation into drug suspects upon arrest by £ 15 million and is expected to say that “there are no crimes and acts of violence against women and girls in our society”.
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