Climate activists occupy central lobby in parliament after Sunak announced as new PM

Dozens of climate and energy crisis activists have occupied the Central Lobby in the Houses of Parliament, hours after Rishi Sunak was named the UK’s new prime minister.

Activists from Greenpeace and Fuel Poverty Action caused live interviews with MPs to be shut down and unfurled a banner reading: “Chaos costs lives”.

In a statement they said the action is designed to highlight the cost of living crisis, which has seen energy bills soar, and they are demanding that the next prime minister “starts putting the welfare of the British people before fossil fuel companies by properly taxing oil and gas profits and launching a nationwide home insulation programme to tackle fuel poverty”.

The protesters have linked arms and are reading testimonies from people struggling with their bills.

As members of parliament reacted to the appointment of Rishi Sunak – the third prime minister the UK has had in two months – parliamentary security forced news crews to stop filming as the protesters arrived.

Greenpeace’s Will McCallum, said:  “Since Boris Johnson resigned as prime minister, this government has spent more time looking for a new leader than leading the country.

“We now need a government capable of confronting crises, not creating them. Almost a quarter of the country is suffering fuel poverty thanks to ridiculous gas prices and the oldest, coldest housing in Europe.

He added: “Winter is coming and lives will be lost if the government keeps failing to solve the problem. Rishi Sunak should have realised by now the huge mistake he made by blocking plans for warmer homes and failing to properly tax fossil fuel giants.”

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