Rebel with MANY causes: Activist scales Big Ben scaffolding to unfurl banner muddled with slogans from XR, BLM, LGBT, All Lives Matter and many more… as police try to coax him down
An activist began scaling the scaffolding next to Big Ben in Westminster this morning, putting up banners protesting about the coronavirus lockdown.
The man appeared to be urging the Government to give northern England an extra £2billion in funding before putting areas into the tier three ‘very high’ alert level.
The protester, whose name is not known, made reference to extra support being needed for the likes of Chester, Stoke, Derby, Nottingham, Boston and Skegness.
The activist began scaling the scaffolding around Big Ben in Westminster this morning
He also included the names of activist groups including Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter on his banners, which were unfurled shortly before 8am today.
One banner said: ‘No Tier 3 lock-down for Gt N’n Pwrhse unless an xtra £2bn for whole region from Chester, Stoke, Derby, Nott’m, Boston, Skeg’s to Scottish border. If not: Gt N’n rebellion. XR North + unions + BLM UK + LGTBQ + many more.’
Another banner, which he was pictured attaching to the scaffolding today, said: ‘Black and all lives matter so unify peoples of the world, unite and put things right.’
The scene was spotted by Twitter user ‘L Zalite’, an NHS midwife who took a picture at 8.02am and tweeted: ‘How to speak up when it matters #BigBen #lockdownUK.’
One of the banners (on the left) said: ‘No Tier 3 lock-down for Gt N’n Pwrhse unless an xtra £2bn for whole region from Chester, Stoke, Derby, Nott’m, Boston, Skeg’s to Scottish border. If not: Gt N’n rebellion. XR North + unions + BLM UK + LGTBQ + many more.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘At around 7.50am a man climbed up scaffolding surrounding the Elizabeth Tower. Officers are on scene and dealing.’
The incident raised concerns, with one Twitter user saying: ‘Great a police officer died in an terrorist attack 2017, and yet people can still get though high security.’
Another said: ‘On a serious note, this is concerning that he was able to get that far given how much of a terrorist target Westminster Palace is.
‘How does someone even get that far without being challenged? Was he not seen on CCTV? What if he was a wannabe Guy Fawkes and he had an IED?’
Another banner, which the man was pictured attaching to the scaffolding today, said: ‘Black and all lives matter so unify peoples of the world, unite and put things right’
Big Ben is the nickname of the Great Bell in the famous clock tower, which was renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Scaffolding has hidden the roof of the Elizabeth Tower for three years amid extensive renovations to the 177-year-old structure which began in 2017.
But the scaffolding hiding the roof is now in the process of being taken down, revealing 3,433 cast iron roof tiles which were removed and repaired.
Work continues on the rest of the structure with the £80million restoration project expected to be completed next year despite the cost rising by a third.