Climate protesters daub Holyrood with red paint after FMQs ban

Two women have been arrested in connection with the incident during a protest over the development of new oil and gas fields.

Climate protesters have daubed the outside of the Scottish Parliament in paint having been barred from entering the chamber during First Minister’s Questions.

Activists from the This is Rigged group said politicians were “unwilling” to listen to their objections to new oil and gas fields in the North Sea after Holyrood passed new rules governing public access to the weekly event.

Two women have been arrested and charged in connection with the incident.

It comes after weeks of protests involving some members standing up and shouting questions to First Minister Humza Yousaf and opposition leaders, demanding a “fully funded fair transition” for oil and gas workers.

The group confirmed activists had thrown paint at the building as FMQs got under way on Thursday after claiming SNP politicians had met with lobbyists from the industry 200 times in the last four years.

“Banning us from parliament is not going to stop the disruption,” a statement read.

“We tried asking, we challenged our politicians directly, in the seat of power, but they are unwilling to hear us.

“So we are escalating. This summer, we will shut down Scotland’s oil industry until our demands are met.”

Continued disruptions to parliamentary business forced presiding officer Alison Johnstone to introduce a slew of new rules governing attendance at sessions.

The use of mobile phones has been banned, while anyone booking tickets now has to give their name and address.

The penalty for disrupting the sessions is a six-month ban.

This is Rigged member Hannah Bright said they were demanding the Scottish Government do the “bare minimum” in ensuring new oil and gas fields are not further developed.

“There are 130 new projects in the pipeline which would put us well over 2.5C of warming which would be absolutely catastrophic,” she told STV News.

“Every week, we have been disrupting FMQs, basically to make that demand heard in parliament.

“And they have made it abundantly clear that they’re not going to be reasoned with and are not going to listen.”

A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “This is a matter for Police Scotland.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Two women, aged 26 and 23, have been arrested and charged in connection with vandalism and a breach of the peace after paint was thrown at the Scottish Parliament building during a protest on Horse Wynd, Edinburgh, this afternoon.

“A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal and they are due to appear in court at a later date.

“The other protesters have now dispersed and officers have left the scene.”

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