Greenpeace protesters climb roof of Rishi Sunak's North Yorkshire home

greenpeace-protesters-climb-roof-of-rishi-sunak's-north-yorkshire-home

Greenpeace activists on the roof of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's houseImage source, PA Media

Image caption,

Activists have covered the front of the propety in black sheeting

By Stuart Harratt & Andrew Barton

BBC News

Activists have climbed on the roof of the prime minister’s home in his North Yorkshire constituency to protest at 100 new North Sea oil and gas licences.

Greenpeace said campaigners had unfurled “oil-black fabric” on one side of the house at Kirby Sigston, near Northallerton.

Mr Sunak’s office confirmed neither he nor his family were present at the house at the time.

Police said officers were responding to “reports of protest activity”.

Officers “are at the scene and managing the situation”, North Yorkshire Police added.

Four activists used ladders to access the roof before draping the building with fabric and unfurling a banner.

Mr Sunak and his family are on holiday in California.

Image source, PA Media

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Protesters targeted the prime minister’s home in his Richmond constituency

When asked about the incident, the Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said he thought the British people were “sick of these stupid stunts”.

The Conservative chair of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee Alicia Kearns said the action was “unacceptable”.

She said the family homes of politicians should “not be under assault”.

“Before long police will need to be stationed outside the home of every MP,” she said.

One of the protesters, Philip Evans, told the BBC: “We’re here to bring home to the prime minister the really serious consequences of a new drilling frenzy in the North Sea.”

Mr Evans declined to say how the activists had gained access to the house.

Responding to the protest, a No 10 source said: “We make no apology for taking the right approach to ensure our energy security, using the resources we have here at home so we are never reliant on aggressors like Putin for our energy.

“We are also investing in renewables and our approach supports 1000s of British jobs.”

Image caption,

A police cordon was in place at Rishi Sunak’s home in North Yorkshire on Thursday

North Yorkshire Police said it was made aware of the incident at the property at 08:06 BST.

“Officers have contained the area and no one has entered the building,” a spokesperson said.

A former deputy chief constable of North Yorkshire Police said he was “absolutely astonished” by the incident.

Peter Walker, who left the force in 2003, said: “You really have to wonder how people have been able to gain access to the prime minister’s residence without hindrance.”

Mr Sunak purchased the house after becoming the MP for the rural Richmond constituency in 2015.

The Grade II listed property was built in 1826 and has extensive gardens.

In 2021, planning permission was granted for an annex with a swimming pool, gym and tennis court.

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