Greenpeace protesters storm Liz Truss’s first Tory conference speech as party leader with a flag reading, ‘who voted for this?’
- Green activists unveiled their banner half way through Prime Minister’s address
- From the stage, Ms Truss could be heard telling security ‘Let’s get them removed’
- Campaigners angry PM lifted fracking moratorium in place under Boris Johnson
Greenpeace protesters managed to storm Liz Truss’s first Tory conference speech as party leader today by unveiling a flag reading, ‘who voted for this?’
The campaign group’s head of public affairs Rebecca Newsom and policy officer Ami McCarthy unveiled the banner midway through the Prime Minister’s speech in Birmingham, with Ms McCarthy shouting ‘who voted for fracking’.
From the stage, Ms Truss could be heard telling security ‘Let’s get them removed’ as boos erupted from the audience.
After around 30 seconds, security guards bundled the pair out of the conference hall, with one seen grabbing Ms McCarthy’s lanyard.
The Prime Minister then received a standing ovation as she joked the protesters were part of the ‘anti-growth coalition’.
The new PM has infuriated green activists by lifting a moratorium on fracking in place under Boris Johnson, along with backing new North Sea oil and gas extraction.
The campaign group’s head of public affairs Rebecca Newsom (left) and policy officer Ami McCarthy unveiled the banner midway through the Prime Minister’s speech in Birmingham
Ms McCarthy shouted ‘who voted for fracking’ as a security guard tried to pull away her banner
From the stage, Ms Truss could be heard telling security ‘Let’s get them removed’ as boos erupted from the audience
In a press release today, Greenpeace accused Ms Truss of ‘shredding’ her party’s 2019 manifesto promises’ around nature and the environment.
The group cited a recent YouGov survey which found that 81 per cent of UK adults believe nature is under threat.
Rebecca Newsom, Greenpeace UK’s head of public affairs, said: ‘Who voted for this? In a healthy democracy, people should get the government programme they voted for, but Liz Truss is putting most of it through the shredder.
‘People voted for strong action on climate, a fracking moratorium, world-leading environmental protections, and tackling poverty and inequality.
‘What they’re getting instead is fracking, a potential bonfire of rules on wildlife and nature protection, and now the prospect of benefit cuts.’
Earlier this week, Jacob Rees-Mogg dismissed the idea of local referendums to gauge support to allow fracking to go ahead, as the Energy Secretary backed drilling in his garden.
The Cabinet minister said he would be ‘delighted’ for shale gas extraction to start in his Somerset country estate despite critics raising concerns about earthquakes.
Ms Truss has angered some Conservative MPs and broken a Tory manifesto promise by removing the moratorium put in place in England to prevent tremors.
The Prime Minister has vowed to only approve fracking in areas where it is backed by surrounding communities but has so far not set out any details.
Mr Rees-Mogg, who is also Business Secretary, dismissed the idea of referendums to approve drilling and onshore windfarms, another controversial topic among Conservatives.
Giving his thoughts at the Tory conference, he said companies could ‘go around door to door, as politicians do in elections’ to gauge support.
‘Then they have to go around to an identifiable community and if they get 50% plus one in favour then they should be able to go ahead,’ he told a Telegraph event.
‘It’s early days, early discussions as to how it could be done. I don’t think local referendums are necessarily the right idea, turnout in local referendums could be very low so how much real validity would that give you as to consent.’
After around 30 seconds, security guards bundled the pair out of the conference hall
One of the security staff was seen grabbing Ms McCarthy’s lanyard (circled in red)
Ms Truss has lifted a moratorium on fracking in place under Boris Johnson and backed new North Sea oil and gas extraction – infuriating green activists
To curry favour among residents, he said compensation should be paid to those disrupted by building works and then royalties for the community.
‘I think people who are disturbed by the building works ought to get some compensation for that and that should be a payment to them,’ he said.
‘And then you should have a royalty for people where the shale gas comes from.’
Mr Rees-Mogg, whose residence is the 17th-century Gournay Court in the parish of West Harptree, was enthusiastic about welcoming fracking on his land.
‘Yes, of course I would. I would be delighted, particularly if I get these royalties,’ he said.
Mr Rees-Mogg said it is ‘the socialists’ and Green MP Caroline Lucas who oppose fracking, adding: ‘Well that makes my heart bleed.’
Today, Ms Truss shrugged off the protests and vowed to create a ‘new era’ for Britain.
After a gathering in Birmingham blighted by splits over tax rates and benefits, the PM said she is determined to take the country through the ‘tempest’ of the global economic crisis after Covid and the war in Ukraine.
Pointing to her energy bills bailout and tax cuts since entering No10, Ms Truss insisted: ‘I refused to consign our great country to decline.’
In a press release today, Greenpeace accused Ms Truss of ‘shredding’ her party’s 2019 manifesto promises’ around nature and the environment
She said she had three priorities for the economy – ‘growth growth and growth’. ‘Growth means more money in people’s pockets,’ she said.
In a highly personal appeal, she said she had ‘fought’ to be where she is – relating how she went to a comprehensive school and was once given a junior hostess badge while her brothers received a junior pilot badge.
Having walked on to stage to Moving on Up by M People and watched by husband Hugh, Ms Truss was only a few minutes into her speech when protests erupted in the hall.
Delivering a true-blue Tory message, Ms Truss said she ‘loved’ business and enterprise. ‘I’m not going to tell you what to do, or what to think or how to live your life,’ she said.
‘I’m not interested in how many two-for-one offers you buy at the supermarket, how you spend your spare time or in virtue signalling.
‘I’m not interested in just talking about things, but in actually doing things.’
She added: ‘What I’m interested in is the hopes and fears that you feel every day. Can you get a good job locally? Is it safe to walk down the high street late at night? Can you get a doctor’s appointment?
‘I know how you feel because I have the same hopes and fears. I want what you want.’
She went on: ‘I believe that you know best how to spend your own money… that is what Conservatism is about.’
Rebecca Newsom, Greenpeace UK’s head of public affairs, said: ‘Who voted for this? In a healthy democracy, people should get the government programme they voted for, but Liz Truss is putting most of it through the shredder’
Ms Truss received a standing ovation after the protesters were removed from the hall
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