'Selfish' protesters are making cost of living crisis worse, says MP

A Black Country MP has criticised "selfish" fuel protestors for worsening the cost of living crisis.

Marco Longhi, Conservative MP for Dudley North
Marco Longhi, Conservative MP for Dudley North

Marco Longhi said some parts of the country were "grinding to a halt" due to protesters blocking roads and interfering with key infrastructure.

He said their actions were having a dire impact on the public purse and was damaging to the environment.

The Dudley North MP insisted the Government's new Public Order Bill – which passed its latest stage in the Commons last week despite Labour opposition – would enable police to clamp down on protestors.

Mr Longhi said: "The criminal minority who commit these acts disgust me. They have no concept of the real world and no concept of the misery that they bring to those less fortunate than them.

"A protest is not peaceful if it blocks key roads or interferes with key infrastructure.

"New, criminal, disruptive and self-defeating tactics carried out by a selfish minority in the name of protest are causing more serious disruption to the British public, with some parts of the country grinding to a halt, and police resources diverted from the local communities where we really need them.

"The disruption does not stop at simply preventing us from getting from A to B; it is worsening the cost of living crisis.

"What is more, blocking a road forces our constituents to go miles out of their way in their cars to get around the idiots disrupting them, which not only costs an awful lot more in fuel – money that most do not have to spend – but means more fossil fuels being burned and more pollution in our environment."

He added: "Blocking roads and fuelling stations is not the answer. We all want a greener environment but behaving in such a selfish way and with such disregard to other people is not the way to do it."

Mr Longhi accused Labour of failing "to stick up for hard-working people" by opposing the bill.

Speaking in the Commons, Labour MP Yvette Cooper said the measures targeted "peaceful protesters and passers-by" but failed to safeguard key infrastructure and did nothing to tackle "violence against women, nothing to support victims of crime and nothing to increase prosecution rates or to cut crime".

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