London Marathon risks being ruined by THIRTY THOUSAND eco-protesters as Rishi Sunak vows action

Extinction Rebellion protests congregating outside the offices of HM Revenue and Customs in 2021

As many as 30,000 eco-zealot protesters could descend on the capital

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 19/04/2023

- 10:09

Updated: 19/04/2023

- 14:33

Eco-zealot activists have caused chaos at several major sporting events, including the World Snooker Championship and Grand National

The London Marathon is at risk of being ruined by as many as 30,000 eco-protesters this weekend, with Rishi Sunak pledging to bring in tougher laws to prevent future disruption.

The Prime Minister vowed to introduce measures which would stop “selfish and reckless” protesters from wreaking havoc at “great British sporting events”.

Extinction Rebellion is heading up a group of more than 200 eco-warrior organisations who plan to descend on the capital for four days of climate protests from Friday.

The group yesterday confirmed it will stage an event on Sunday which will concentrate on the “final stretch” of the London Marathon.

A photograph from the London Marathon in October 2022

Around 50,000 people are expected to complete the 26.2mile race


Around 50,000 runners are expected to complete the 26.2mile race, with many raising money for charitable causes.

Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Marijn van de Geer warned runners might face “logical disruption” but insisted eco-zealots were not intending to directly inconvenience people.

London Marathon director Hugh Brasher revealed Extinction Rebellion assured organisers they do not wish to “disrupt” the event.

He added: “We are working closely with the Metropolitan Police and other stakeholders on the safety and security of the event.”

Just Stop Oil, the organisation behind the recent powder-dousing stunt at the Crucible, refused to rule out more disruptive action ahead of Sunday.

Scotland Yard has confirmed it is preparing to counteract eco-protesters who will descend on the capital this weekend.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “We have a policing plan in place to provide an appropriate response to the protest.

“People can expect visible, engaging but firm policing presence to tackle any criminal or anti-social behaviour and disorder.”

The force also revealed it will use specialist officers to respond to protesters who choose to lock or glue themselves to street furniture or purpose-built structures.

The Prime Minister has also vowed to come down hard on protesters ahead of the London Marathon.

Sunak said: “People who disrupt decent, law-abiding people’s lives, trying to gratuitously ruin great British sporting events that many have worked hard and saved to enjoy should be ashamed of their selfish and reckless behaviour.

“Last year, the Government introduced new laws to clamp down on this appalling behaviour but it’s clear more is needed.

Rishi Sunak giving his speech on education at the London Screen Academy

Rishi Sunak has vowed to bring in tougher measures to prevent further disruption


“That’s why we are pressing ahead with our Public Order Bill to create a range of new criminal offences targeting these people.”

Conservative MPs rallied behind the Prime Minister’s sentiment, with Tory Party deputy chairman Lee Anderson calling for “eco idiots” to be “rounded up, detained and then charged”.

Protesters have recently caused chaos at several major events, including at the World Snooker Championship.

Police also arrested 118 people from Animal Rising at the Grand National last Saturday as protesters delayed the Aintree race by 15 minutes.

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