Dozens of energy crisis activists carry out sit-down protest in parliament

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Activists complaining about rising energy bills have staged a sit-down protest in the Houses of Parliament.

More than 30 demonstrators from Greenpeace and Fuel Poverty Action entered the Palace of Westminster as tourists and visitors.

In the central lobby of parliament, the campaigners then linked arms, read testimonies from people struggling with their bills and unfurled a banner reading ‘Chaos costs lives’, their groups said.

They are urging the next prime minister Rishi Sunak to “end the political chaos” and “tackle the fuel poverty crisis”.

The campaigners called on him to back “a proper windfall tax on fossil fuels, better support for households and home insulation”.

There was no attempt by police to move the activists on and after reading out a number of statements they left voluntarily.

Sky’s chief political correspondent Jon Craig said the Greenpeace protest was “over” and the central lobby had been “reclaimed”.

The groups said the activists, backed by Disabled People Against Cuts, are demanding the new PM “puts the welfare of the British people before fossil fuel companies by properly taxing oil and gas profits and launching a nationwide home insulation programme to tackle fuel poverty”.

Fuel Poverty Action and Disabled People Against Cuts are also calling for energy for all – a universal, free band of energy to cover the basics like keeping warm and keeping the lights on.

Greenpeace UK’s co-executive director, Will McCallum, said: “Rishi Sunak should have realised by now the huge mistake he made by blocking plans for warmer homes and failing to properly tax fossil fuel giants.

“People need permanently lower bills and a safe climate, and that means more renewable energy, more financial support, a nationwide street-by-street insulation programme, and a proper tax on the energy profiteers to pay for it.”

Ruth London, from Fuel Poverty Action, called for support for their “energy for all” proposal, giving each household enough free energy to cover basics such as heating, cooking and lighting, paid for windfall taxes, ending fossil fuel subsidies and higher prices for excess energy use.

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