Climate activists disrupted Liz Truss’s appearance at the latest Conservative leadership hustings to highlight what they claimed was her failure to tackle the global heating crisis.
During Truss’s opening remarks at the Winter Garden theatre in Eastbourne, several activists from the youth group Green New Deal Rising stood to heckle Truss about the government’s record and her policies.
Fatima Ibrahim could be heard shouting “Liz Truss, you should be ashamed of yourself”. Another activist then stood while Fatima was being removed from the event, saying Truss had “no credible plan to tackle the biggest energy crisis … what you’ve announced will not help people with energy bills of over £3,000 per year”. Three more activists were also seen protesting, and later in the event another protester was escorted out after interrupting proceedings.
Truss broke off from her speech to promise an immediate crackdown on militant protesters if she becomes prime minister. The audience, made up mostly of Conservative members and supporters, booed the activists and shouted “out, out, out” as they were led away.
Truss initially paused her speech. She then said: “I would legislate immediately to make sure that we are standing up to militant trade unions, who stop ordinary commuters getting into work. And I would legislate to protect our essential services. And will make sure that militant activists such as Extinction Rebellion are not able to disrupt ordinary people who work hard, do the right thing and go into work.”
Truss added: “I will never ever, ever allow our democracy to be disrupted by unfair protests.”
In statement about the protest, Ibrahim said: “Liz Truss is leading in the polls and is likely to become the next prime minister but she has nothing credible to say in response to the cost of living crisis and the climate crisis.
“The UK just experienced record-breaking heatwaves and energy giants are raking in billions of profit whilst every day people are pushed further into poverty as prices soar and wages stagnate.
“As young people who are scared for our futures, we desperately need a green new deal and political leadership to meet this moment of crisis rather than this sideshow.”