Greenpeace protester climbs on top of Conservative election campaign bus

A Greenpeace protester climbed on top of the Conservative election campaign bus with a banner reading: "Clean power not Paddy Power."

The climate activist mounted the so-called battle bus while it was parked up in Nottinghamshire on Wednesday afternoon before the final TV debate between Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer.

Home Secretary James Cleverly was also in Nottinghamshire visiting businesses in Sherwood Forest with farming minister and Tory candidate Sir Mark Spencer.

The "clean power not Paddy Power" slogan refers to the gambling scandal currently engulfing the two main parties.

Follow live general election updates

The Tories have withdrawn support for both Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr candidate Craig Williams and Bristol North West contender Laura Saunders over alleged bets made about the date of the general election, while Labour's Kevin Craig, who was standing in Central Suffolk, has also been suspended by his party.

Asked about her choice of protest technique, Greenpeace activist Amy Rugg-Easey said: "We've had enough of this government lurching from one scandal to the next, while gambling with our future. We need clean power, not Paddy Power.

"Enough is enough. We've climbed onto Sunak's battle bus today to remind the British public that it is the Conservative government's consistent failure to deliver greener, fairer policies that has created the mess we're in.

"Don't back the wrong horse - a vote for the climate is a vote for a better future."

Greenpeace spokesperson Paul Morozzo added that it was a "legitimate and important" protest.

"We're just making the point that if you want to vote with the climate in mind, if you want to vote for all the benefits the climate brings in terms of the economy and public services, then you vote for different parties," he told broadcasters at the scene.

Read more:
Election betting scandal deepens
Manifesto checker - what is each party promising?

Minister in electric car labels protest 'ironic'

Asked about the protest, Sir Mark commented on the "irony", saying: "I'm here in my electric rechargeable vehicle and they turned up in their diesel van to protest about the environment.

"I think they made their point. I'm sympathetic to some of the points they made. You know, I think in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs we're doing a lot to lower our carbon footprint and improve the environment."

Greenpeace argues that the Conservative government has "gone backwards on climate action" and "ditched key pledges".

In their election manifesto, the Conservatives have pledged to treble offshore wind capacity and ban executive bonuses for water companies if they are in breach of regulations.

They will also ensure there are no new green levies or charges to "reduce the cost of net zero".

Labour say they will ban fracking, block water company bonuses for failing firms, and make a national wealth fund for cutting-edge green tech.

Read more:
How Tory and Labour energy plans compare

The other candidates in Sherwood Forest are:

• David Dobbie, Liberal Democrats
• Helen Rose O'Hare, Reform UK
• Jeremy Paul Spry, independent
• Lee Waters, independent
• Michelle Welsh, Labour
• Sheila Greatrex-White, Green Party.

The other candidates for Bristol North West are:

• Caroline Gooch, Lib Dems
• Darren Jones, Labour
• Scarlett O'Connor, Reform UK
• Mary Page, Green Party
• Ben Smith, SDP.

The other candidates for Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr are:

• Jeremy Brignell-Thorp, Green Party
• Oliver Lewis, Reform UK
• Glyn Preston, Lib Dems
• Elwyn Vaughan, Plaid Cymru
• Steve Witherden, Labour.

The other candidates for Central Suffolk are:

• Charlie Caiger, independent
• Tony Gould, Reform UK
• Mike Hallatt, independent
• Brett Alistair Mickelburgh, Lib Dems
• Dan Pratt, Greens
• Patrick Spencer, Conservatives.