Climate change protesters storm Philip Hammond’s speech at annual Mansion House dinner in London

CLIMATE change protesters tonight interrupted Philip Hammond’s speech at a posh London dinner for City bankers.

A group of women in red evening dresses and sashes emblazoned with “climate emergency” were seen chanting as the Chancellor was forced to leave a roomful of guests to wait for security.

Activists dressed in red stormed the annual bankers dinner at Mansion House to raise awareness about climate change
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Activists were seen giving out what looked like letters at the black-tie event
PA:Press Association
Chancellor Philip Hammond was interrupted just as he was about to begin speaking
Reuters
The campaigners in red can be seen being restrained by City bankers at the table
Reuters
Activists wearing sashes and bearing slogans are escorted out of the building
Reuters

TV footage shows the women using loudspeakers to shout slogans before being escorted out of the  Mansion House banquet hall.

One of the attendees can clearly be heard shouting: “You have made your point now so if you could kindly leave.”

GATECRASHERS

Greenpeace later confirmed 40 of its volunteers had “gate-crashed” the event in order to raise awareness about climate change.

Several minutes of disruption was caused to the City of London event, which was attended by around 350 guests.

Mr Hammond began his speech shortly afterwards, saying: “The irony is that this is the Government that has just led the world by committing to a zero carbon economy by 2050.”

The comment was met with loud applause.

In the course of his speech the Chancellor also challenged Tory leadership hopefuls to set out a Brexit “plan B”.

And he warned that a no-deal Brexit could damage the economy and risk the break-up of the United Kingdom.

The people in this room have been funding climate change, and we’re not giving the banks and hedge funds a pass for their unethical investment decisions anymore.

Areeba Hamid, Greenpeace campaigner

Areeba Hamid, climate campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said the disruption was vital to promoting more awareness among those present.

“This is a climate emergency,” she said. “Business as usual is no longer an option.

“The real bottom line, the priority that needs to come before all others, is not profit, revenue or growth, but survival.

“That needs to be recognised in every boardroom and on every balance sheet, starting with the Chancellor’s.

“The people in this room have been funding climate change, and we’re not giving the banks and hedge funds a pass for their unethical investment decisions anymore.

“The Treasury is the Government’s banker. It plays the same role propping up vested interests and blocking progress on climate change.

“But science demands a radical programme of policy interventions and public investment if our economy is to survive the coming storm.

“The serious, sensible, grey-suited grown-ups in the room ignored the warning signs and crashed the economy in 2008. We can’t afford to let them crash the climate too.”

A row of City bankers were seen holding back the protesters
PA:Press Association
Greenpeace said 40 of its volunteers had ‘gate-crashed’ the event<br /><img class="size-thesun-article-image wp-image-9341724" src="https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/NINTCHDBPICT000499235969.jpg?strip=all&w=960" alt="" width="960" height="720" /> Protesters wearing red were escorted out of the building after storming Chancellor Philip Hammond’s annual speech
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