Insulate Britain activist who stormed off Good Morning Britain arrested hours later

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A climate change activist who stormed off Good Morning Britain after being challenged over the behaviour of Insulate Britain, was arrested a short time later, it has emerged.

Liam Norton, 36, who is a leading member of the environmental group, was detained by Scotland Yard detectives on Wednesday on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance.

Just hours earlier he had been involved in a bad-tempered on-air exchange with GMB presenters Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley after being challenged over whether his own home was insulated.

Walking off the show, he told them: “We are demanding that the government make a meaningful statement to save the future of this country and if they refuse to do it – they can put us in prison. I’ve had enough of talking to people in this country about what we’re doing. Bye.”

Later that day he was arrested by police at his home in Streatham, south London and questioned for several hours.

On Thursday his fellow spokesman, Zoe Cohen, 51, who has given interviews to the BBC defending Insulate Britain’s tactics, was detained at her home in Warrington. The pair were both subsequently released under investigation.

The move from police comes after the Government were granted an injunction banning activists from blocking the M25 and signals a ramping up of the response to Insulate Britain’s activities.

Any breach of the interim order could result in protesters being jailed for contempt of court.

But despite the warnings, the group – which is demanding the Government insulate all homes by 2030 – has vowed to continue its campaign.

Last week the Telegraph revealed that police were exploring whether they could bring conspiracy charges amid concern that low level offences would simply result in “slap on the wrist” sentences.

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, demanded more action from forces after criticism that the police were facilitating the protests rather than preventing them.

Sources have also revealed that the Government has urged police to use every tool at their disposal to tackle the protesters.

Senior officers from Hertfordshire, Surrey, Kent, Essex and the Met have been exploring whether they can bring more serious charges, including conspiracy to cause public nuisance, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

A Met spokesman said: “A 36-year-old man was arrested at his home address in Streatham on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance on Wednesday, 22 September.

“A 51-year-old woman was arrested at her home address in Warrington on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance on Thursday, 23 September.

“This follows three arrests made last week for the same offence. A 55-year-old man, 45-year-old woman and a 49-year-old man were arrested for conspiracy to cause public nuisance on Monday, 13 September.

“In total, Met officers have made 28 arrests for those obstructing the public highway. Those arrested have been released under investigation whilst the crime team fully investigate all lines of enquiry and pursue all possible offences committed given the amount of material they have seized.”

A spokesman for the organisation said: “Insulate Britain can confirm that Liam Norton was arrested on 22nd September and Zoe Cohen was arrested on 23rd September.

“At the time of arrest the alleged offence was stated as ‘conspiracy to cause a public nuisance’.

“We understand that both Liam and Zoe have been released with no charges being brought against them.”