UK police arrest Just Stop Oil activists after UNESCO World Heritage Site Stonehenge defaced

UK police arrest Just Stop Oil activists after UNESCO World Heritage Site Stonehenge defaced

UK police have arrested two people today after environmental activists sprayed an orange substance on Stonehenge, the renowned prehistoric UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest England.

The Just Stop Oil protest group said a pair of its activists, named by the group as Niamh Lynch, 21, and Rajan Naidu, 73, had "decorated Stonehenge in orange powder paint" to demand that the UK's next government legally commit to phasing out fossil fuels by 2030.

The footage was posted on social media, with the group sayng that they has used "orange cornflour" so that it "will soon wash away with the rain".

Wiltshire Police said in a statement it had "arrested two people following an incident at Stonehenge this afternoon".

"Officers attended the scene and arrested two people on suspicion of damaging the ancient monumen. Our inquiries are ongoing and we are working closely with English Heritage.”

The incident comes in the middle of the UK's general election campaign, ahead of voters going to the polls on 4 July.

Current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called the incident "a disgraceful act of vandalism to one of the UK's and the world's oldest and most important monuments".

"Just Stop Oil should be ashamed of their activists," he added.

A spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said that although the Labour party, which is expected to win next month's election, has vowed not to issue any new oil and gas drilling licences, "we all know this is not enough".

Just Stop Oil said it had chosen to stage the action on the day before the Summer Solstice festival, when crowds gather at the site to celebrate.

"We have to come together to defend humanity or we risk everything. That's why Just Stop Oil is demanding that our next government sign up to a legally binding treaty to phase out fossil fuels by 2030," the spokesperson added. "Failure to commit to defending our communities will mean Just Stop Oil supporters... will join in resistance this summer, if their own governments do not take meaningful action.”