Greenpeace should not get ‘seat at the table’ in Government discussions – No 10

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said all Government departments should suspend stakeholder engagement with the environmental group.

Greenpeace should not be given a “seat at the table” in Whitehall discussions of climate-related issues following an anti-oil protest targeting Rishi Sunak’s home, Downing Street has said.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said all Government departments should suspend stakeholder engagement with the environmental group after the stunt last Thursday.

The move expands on orders given to civil servants in the Department for Envrionment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) last week to cut ties with Greenpeace until further notice.

Greenpeace protest at Rishi Sunak house
Greenpeace activists moving fabric on the roof of Rishi Sunak’s house in Richmond, North Yorkshire (Danny Lawson/PA)

The No 10 official said: “Certainly we obviously don’t think that people who are accused of breaking the law should have a seat at the table in discussions with Government.

“My understanding is that Defra aren’t engaging with Greenpeace because of those actions.

“I don’t think its unusual for Defra or other agencies to engage with climate action groups – that’s taken place for a number of years.

“But clearly given their actions and the arrests last week we don’t think its appropriate to engage with them.”

It comes after a group of demonstrators scaled Mr Sunak’s Grade II-listed constituency manor to protest against plans to grant more than 100 new licences for oil and gas extraction in the North Sea.

The activists draped an oil-black fabric from the roof, staying there from about 8am to 1.15pm when they were arrested and later bailed amid an ongoing investigation by North Yorkshire Police.

Areeba Hamid, co-executive director of Greenpeace, defended the protest amid a backlash over security concerns as “carefully and meticulously” planned for when the Prime Minister, his wife and children holiday in California.

She told Sky News it was a “proportionate response to a disastrous decision” by Mr Sunak to allow for further drilling.

Assistant Chief Constable Elliot Foskett said: “There was no threat to the wider public throughout this incident, which has now been brought to a safe conclusion.”

But Peter Walker, a former deputy chief constable from the force, told LBC it was a “major breach of security”, as he called for an “investigation into how this has been allowed to happen”.

Mr Sunak, the MP for Richmond, last week announced plans to “max out” the UK’s oil and gas reserves by granting new licences for extraction in the North Sea.

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