Extinction Rebellion: Boris Johnson's father tells protesters it's a 'tremendous compliment' to be called an 'uncooperative crusty'

The Prime Minister's father, Stanley Johnson, addressed Extinction Rebellion protesters today in Trafalgar Square - two days after Boris Johnson called them "uncooperative crusties" in "hemp-smelling bivouacs".

Boris Johnson's father Stanley Johnson has said that being branded an "uncooperative crusty" by his son was a "tremendous compliment".

Mr Johnson Snr spoke at an Extinction Rebellion event in Trafalgar Square on Wednesday in front of a substantial crowd.

He said: "I'm showing up here because I think what they [Extinction Rebellion] are doing is extremely important. From tiny acorns, big movements spring.

"We have been moving far too slowly on the climate change issue.

"I regard it as a tremendous compliment to be called an uncooperative crusty, that was a remark made in humour."

Mr Johnson senior has been pictured in London donning the climate change group's badge and joined Siobhan Benita, Skeena Rathor and Rupert Read for a cross-party panel addressing the question - "can traditional politics rise to the challenge of the climate and ecological emergency".

Family disagreements have been a formality with the Johnsons in recent weeks with the Prime Minister's brother Jo Johnson quitting Government over Brexit

Later, Boris Johnson's sister Rachel Johnson described her brother as being a different person in the "bully pulpit" of the Commons.

And on Monday, the Prime Minister hit out at the Extinction Rebellion protesters. 

Speaking at the book launch of Charles Moore’s final volume of his biography of Margaret Thatcher on Monday evening, Mr Johnson said the first female prime minister "took it [climate change] seriously long before Greta Thunberg".

Stanley Johnson, father of Boris Johnson poses with a placard during Extinction Rebellion protests Credit:  Eddie Mulholland /Telegraph

During his speech the Prime Minister said: "I am afraid that the security people didn’t want me to come along tonight because they said the road was full of uncooperative crusties and protesters littering the road."

He added: "I hope that when we go out from this place tonight and we are waylayed by importunate nose ringed climate change protesters we remind them that she was also right about greenhouse gases."

One of those protesters - it appears - is his father.

Stanley Johnson speaks on stage during the third day of climate protests by Extinction Rebellion Credit: Eddie Mulholland/Telegraph

Arrested protesters ordered not to cooperate at police stations in bid to fill cells

Extinction Rebellion has ordered protesters not to co-operate at police stations when they are arrested in a bid to fill London's cells

The climate change activist group is aiming to get 1,000 of its demonstrators to refuse their bail conditions at police stations and "pledge to noncooperation". 

After two days, the total number of arrests is already at 531 across the capital as the Commissioner of the Met Police Cressida Dick was accused of allowing Extinction Rebellion protesters to take control of the police.

On Wednesday morning, the activists urged its followers to abide by guidance published by The Action Network, which read: "Rebellion is the open defiance of the systems that hold up the status quo. We refuse to cooperate with a Government that has failed to protect us so criminally. In order to disrupt this toxic system we need to break the rules and highlight its failures.

"There are roughly 1000 jail cells in London - we filled many of them in April. If we fill them everyday - the streets will remain ours."

Arrested protesters are being told to refuse the bail conditions offered to them to fill up a cell at that station and to speed up the court process. 

A police source told The Telegraph: "It's not unusual for people not to cooperate when they are arrested. So it's not a great surprise that this is what they are looking to do."

The third day of demonstrations will start with a "mothers' nurse-in" outside the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster where babies will be breastfed and bottle fed in the street. 

Metropolitan Police issued a public order notice on Tuesday, stating: "Any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion 'Autumn Uprising'…who wish to continue with their assembly must go to Trafalgar Square and only assemble in the pedestrianised area around Trafalgar Column."

Anyone demonstrating elsewhere face being arrested. 

Baroness Williams of Trafford, a Home Office Minister, admitted in response to an urgent question that the city of London was "gridlocked” and the effect on business was "quite disgraceful".

Describing the climate change demonstration as “peaceful with very sinister undertone” she said protesters had "strewn" single-use plastic across Westminster, adding: "The cars gridlocked are unbelievable for the amount of pollution they are causing."

It came as protesters faced accusations of hypocrisy when they were photographed eating in McDonalds with Ben Bradley, the Tory MP, saying their "lack of self-awareness is absolutely staggering".

At the beginning of the week, Boris Johnson labelled activists 'crusties' in 'hemp-smelling bivouacs'.

Half of Telegraph readers think Extinction Rebellion protests are 'waste of time'

Yesterday, we asked the readers what they made of the protests taking over London this week. 

More than 4,000 of you responded with 48 percent agreeing that the demonstrations are a "waste of time" and that people are merely "protesting for the sake of protesting. 

Almost one in five readers (18 percent) said they would be out on the streets of the capital this week if they could be, while almost a quarter (22 percent) said that while they agreed with the cause, they did not agree with the way protesters were going about raising awareness. 

One in 10 (12 percent) said they believed in people's right to protest, but did not agree with Extinction Rebellion.

The poll is still open below.

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