Activism

The environment minister's rent payments are being used to pay Insulate Britain's legal fees

A group of activists bought George Eustice's constituency office and are sending the rent money to pay Insulate Britain's legal fees.

george eustice, insulate britain

Environment secretary George Eustice endorsed legal action against Insulate Britain. Image: UK Parliament, Gav Goulder

The environment minister’s constituency office landlord is using his rent payments to fund Insulate Britain’s legal fees.

George Eustice has said the group caused “chaos” and endorsed taking legal action against the protesters – but it has now emerged the rent paid for his Cornwall office has been used to fund the group.

A group of investors bought the Camborne office for £51,000 in October 2021 and have so far funnelled £2,820 to the road-blocking protesters.

Sally Wright, one of the investors, said: “I’m glad we’re using his rent to pay the fines of the people who are risking their livelihoods, reputations and personal safety to give the rest of us hope that change is possible.”

A spokesperson for Eustice said it was a “free country”.

A total of 13 Insulate Britain members have been jailed for taking part in the group’s protests – in defiance of an injunction taken out to stop the group blocking roads.

The group of investors, made up of 30 members, established a company called Cawton Ltd – which is an anagram of Act Now, one of Extinction Rebellion’s key demands.

To date, the courts have awarded £84,000 in costs against them, but the group owning Eustice’s office will donate future rent to local food banks and community initiatives.

Brenda Shrewsbury, another of the investors, said: “The rent from George’s gaff is tiny compared with the costs faced by the individuals that have been persecuted by the government for demanding action on home insulation, but I hope that this move will inspire others to do what they can.”

Eustice’s spokesperson said: “We live in a free country and investors are free to invest in property irrespective of their political views. There is no law that requires a landlord and tenant to share the same political opinions.”

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