John Penrose responds to Labour and Extinction Rebellion’s protests against policing Bill.

Weston’s MP has responded to the protest by Extinction Rebellion and Labour over the policing Bill.

John said: “The question for Extinction Rebellion and the Labour Party is why they want to stop some really important changes that matter hugely to everybody else in and around Weston.

“For example, the bill gives our local police long-needed powers to deal with the illegal traveller encampments which we get every summer in local parks or the seafront.

“It increases sentences for people who attack emergency workers like ambulance crews or firefighters. It stops sexual predators in positions of trust like sports coaches from exploiting young girls and boys.

“Why on earth do Extinction Rebellion and the Labour Party want to stop these things? Everyone agrees we need to preserve the right for peaceful, democratic debate and protests, but they’re so intent on organising political demonstrations with roadblocks that bring towns and cities to a halt that they’ve forgotten the rest of us have families we want to keep safe, and communities which need essential services to work properly.

“I’m happy to work with them to make sure their right to protest is maintained, but they’ve got to realise in return that this bill fixes some really important problems that local people have been asking for, for ages.”