14 December 2021, 11:00

Nine ordinary people from Insulate Britain face trial at the High Court today for breaking the M25 injunction granted to National Highways in September. They have been summoned on a charge of contempt of court and if found guilty could be subject to unlimited fines, seizure of assets and prison sentences of up to two years. [1]


Due to appear at the High Court in London today are Dr. Ben Buse 36, Steve Gower 54, Ruth Jarman 58, Biff Whipster 54, Richard Ramsden 75, Stephen Pritchard 62, Dr Diana Warner 62, Paul Sheeky 46 and Reverend Sue Parfitt 79. 


We understand that Dr. Diana Warner, a retired GP from Bristol, has decided to defy the court summons by not appearing in court this morning. She has instead taken part in an action in Yorkshire to disrupt a train headed for the Drax power station. The court has issued a warrant for her arrest and it is expected that she will be tried in her absence.  Earlier she said: 


“No ordinary person can listen to the testimony of people who have taken part in Insulate Britain protests, and not be troubled by any part they may play in imprisoning them. The position of uncaring and disregard for human safety that they are forced into, would normally call for them to consider resignation.”


“This high court process is a distortion of English law, and our ordinary rights to freedom of expression are not considered at all.”


Also absent this morning is Dr. Ben Buse, who was due to be transported from HMP Thameside. It is expected that he will join the hearing later.[2]


Steve Gower, 54, a volunteer advocate for the homeless from Gloucestershire said


“I am expecting to be served a custodial sentence, I am going to lose my liberty so that for a period of time over the winter months, I can be warm and have a meal and reflect on my actions. 


“I and seven million others currently living in fuel and food poverty, would equally like the Government to reflect on its duty to protect the people of this country from climate breakdown and from fuel poverty. If the government would agree to uphold its duty, I for one would gladly hang up my orange high vis, once and for all.”


Insulate Britain is calling on the UK government to take responsibility for and fully fund the low carbon retrofit of all social housing by 2025 and all homes in Britain by 2030 as part of its response to climate breakdown. This is a no-brainer demand that many in the building industry have repeatedly called for. Studies have shown that this is one of the most cost-effective ways of addressing the climate emergency that could cut 20% from our national carbon emissions, create thousands of proper jobs and eliminate fuel poverty. [3]


Those facing prison with Insulate Britain are clear that we cannot afford to miss such important opportunities to address the climate emergency. 


Richard Ramsden, 75, a retired engineer from Halifax said


“The situation for Earth right now is devastatingly serious. Politicians have to be made to promise, genuinely plan and act on the climate emergency as though it is an emergency - not unlike war when every ounce of energy of every person is urged and enabled by the government to work towards winning.”


Ruth Jarman 58, a chemist from Odiham


“I cannot stand by and watch the wholesale destruction of God’s one beautiful earth and my children’s future without trying to respond in a way that is commensurate with the severity of the crisis.”




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Notes to Editors


[1] The hearing will be at 10:30am in Court 4 (Overspill Court 20). National Highways Ltd v 9 named defendants from Insulate Britain. Presiding will be Lord Justice Dingemans and Mr Justice Johnson.


[2] Ben Buse, who was one of the first group of nine people from Insulate Britain imprisoned on 17th November will be brought to the High Court from HMP Thameside, where he is currently serving a four month prison sentence.  The rest of his group have been imprisoned for between three and six months and face fines of £5,000 each. 




About Insulate Britain


Insulate Britain is a new campaign group that is calling on the UK government to put in place policy and funding for a national home insulation programme starting with all social housing. 


We demand the Prime Minister and the government to #getonwiththejob, face up to their responsibility and lead our country through the climate crisis.


We are ordinary British citizens with simple and achievable demands to #INSULATEBRITAIN


The UK government must immediately promise to fully fund and take responsibility for the insulation of all social housing in Britain.


We demand a national home insulation strategy that gives British people the justice they deserve: a future for our loved ones, lower energy bills and safer living conditions.


We are scared: our livelihoods are at risk and the futures of our children are uncertain

The Climate Crisis is a threat to all: we demand the government to act now.


Our Demands

1. That the UK government immediately promises to fully fund and take responsibility for the insulation of all social housing in Britain by 2025;

2. That the UK government immediately promises to produce within four months a legally binding national plan to fully fund and take responsibility for the full low-energy and low-carbon whole-house retrofit , with no externalised costs, of all homes in Britain by 2030 as part of a just transition to full decarbonisation of all parts of society and the economy.

Further information about Insulate Britain and our demands here:

Technical Report on home energy efficiency here:


Insulate Britain ‘Blue Lights’ policy: our policy is, and has always been to move out of the way for emergency vehicles with ‘blue lights’ on.