Climate activists have poured black paint over MP Michael Gove’s office in protest at his decision to green-light a new coal mine in Cumbria.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) members poured black paint down the sloped walls towards the front doors of the the Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities in central London on Wednesday morning.
Two people, who attached themselves together through a lock-on tube with the words “end coal” on it, lay in front of the entrance while two others were glued nearby.
Other protesters were seen wearing yellow hooded capes and facemasks. They also included a demonstrator in a Michael Gove face mask who was dressed in a skeleton costume and held a mock pickaxe.
XR said the protest was because the mine at Whitehaven, Cumbria will be the UK’s first new deep coal mine for 30 years.
Sarah Hart, a mother-of-two from Farnborough, Hampshire, said: “2022 saw record global greenhouse gas emissions, and record global temperatures.
“Where is the Government’s ambition to act on this climate and ecological emergency? How dare they even think of opening a coal mine now?
“Gove claims this mine is carbon neutral but he completely ignores the emissions from burning the coal. We demand an end to all new fossil fuel projects.”
Dorothea Hackman, a 70-year-old grandmother from Camden, north London, said: “Opening a coal mine today means the UK can’t argue that China and India should decrease their own coal emissions.
“Whitehaven coal isn’t even wanted by British steelworks, it’s going to be exported, there is no argument for domestic production.”
XR began this year by stating it was to temporarily stop using public disruption tactics, which have frustrated commuters and businesses over the last four years, because “very little has changed” and emissions continue to rise.