MP hits out at 'spoilt middle-class climate clowns'

An MP has hit out at what he called "spoilt, middle-class climate clowns" after his office was targeted by Just Stop Oil protesters.

Mark Jenkinson's constituency office on Senhouse Street in Maryport was targeted by protesters at about 08:10 BST on Friday, who covered the windows in posters reading "Stop Tory Coal".

Two women have been arrested following the protest, which was against plans for a new coal mine in West Cumbria.

Just Stop Oil branded Mr Jenkinson's comments "adolescent".

Mr Jenkinson, the Conservative MP for Workington, called the protesters "plonkers" in a social media post criticising their actions.

Speaking to the BBC, he described the protesters as "entitled morons who think they are above the law".

He said the window cleaner, who had just left, had to return to clean-up "after these overgrown attention-seeking babies".

“Unfortunately, the film on the glass has been scratched and some of the paintwork damaged by the childish antics of these spoilt, middle-class climate clowns," he added.

He further criticised the protesters who he said had driven to the area in cars that run on fossil fuels, used plastic tape and paper made from the felling of trees, as well as leaving items behind for others to clean-up.

Cumbria Police said it was investigating reports a window had been damaged by an adhesive.

A woman in her 40s and another in her 60s have been both arrested on suspicion of criminal damage.

Mr Jenkinson added: "I have it on good authority that the ringleader is spending some carbon neutral time in the cells.

“They deliberately picked a sitting Friday because they thought I wouldn’t be here – but as it happens I was, and I gave them a few choice Anglo-Saxon words before they scuttled back to their hiding places as most people head to work.”

'Adolescent response'

In response Just Stop Oil said opening a new coal mine in Cumbria was "total madness".

Permission for the mine near Whitehaven was given in December 2022, making it the first new coal mine to be approved in 30 years.

Supporters welcomed promised jobs but critics argued at the time it would undermine climate change targets.

Just Stop Oil questioned whether Mr Jenkinson's tirade in response to their actions was the "standard of adolescent response" constituents deserved.

A spokesman said: "Opening a new coal mine as our climate spins out of control is total madness.

"The British steel industry does not want this mine for coking coal.

"It’s time ordinary people held “plonkers” like Mark Jenkinson to account, because at the moment politics is failing us."

In response to the MP's claims about driving cars and using other polluting materials, the group said: "For the record, he hasn’t a clue how our people got there."

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