Priti Patel accosted by climate protesters over Government’s fossil fuel plans

Dame Priti Patel was heckled by climate activists over Government fossil fuel plans as she arrived to speak at an event on policing protests.

The Conservative former home secretary was branded “disgraceful” as she waited for a lift to appear on a panel at the talk in London for the centre-right think tank, Policy Exchange.

It comes after a Government bid to maximise North Sea oil and gas production cleared its first Commons test, amid Tory criticism and warnings of “sleepless nights” over the proposals.

Footage shows a woman, reportedly part of the Fossil Free London activist group, shouting at Dame Priti while aides tried to move her away.

Priti Patel speech
Former home secretary Priti Patel speaks at an event on policing at the Policy Exchange (Lucy North/PA)

She said: “I’m not going to calm down when people are dying across the world right now. I’m not going to calm down and she shouldn’t either as a representative of the people of this country. Disgraceful. Line your pockets and let the world burn. Well done.”

A man also tried to pass her a piece of paper as she entered the lift, asking if she would “like to read what the UN has to say” about the proposed laws.

The Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill would require the industry regulator to run annual rounds for new oil and gas licences, subject to stringent new emissions and imports tests.

On Monday, MPs gave the Bill a second reading by 293 votes to 211, majority 82, although some Conservatives joined those on the opposition benches in voicing concerns. A vote was not recorded for Dame Priti.

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Former MP for Kingswood Chris Skidmore quit as an MP (Aaron Chown/PA)

Former minister Chris Skidmore previously resigned as an MP in protest over the legislation.

Campaigners also criticised the measures, with Greenpeace claiming the “planet and everyone on it has lost” as a result of the Bill making progress.

In July, Dame Priti reportedly called on ministers to pause Britain’s net-zero targets, warning voters were “not ready” for green policies.

As home secretary, a post she quit in 2022, she pledged to crack down on disruptive eco-protesters.