Four Greenpeace activists - including one from Newcastle - have been arrested after covering Rishi Sunak's North Yorkshire home in black fabric in protest of North Sea oil and gas expansion. 

The group this morning protested at Sunak's £2m manor house, in Kirby Sigston near Northallerton. They remained on the roof of the unoccupied mansion for five hours. 

Greenpeace was hoping to "drive home the dangerous consequences" of the Government's newly announced fossil fuel drilling expansion.  

Police were "managing the situation" after being called to the family home in Kirby Sigston at about 8 am when the activists climbed the roof while Mr Sunak, his wife and children were on holiday in California.

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The group returned to the ground at about 1.15 pm, and were spoken to by officers before being loaded into the back of police vans.

North Yorkshire Police said two men and two women had been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage and public nuisance.

This week, Mr Sunak, MP for nearby Richmond, announced plans to “max out” the UK’s oil and gas reserves by granting more than 100 new licences for extraction in the North Sea.

Campaigners critical of the move, including climate-conscious Conservatives, have aired concerns that it could hinder the country's efforts to reach net zero by 2050. 

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, who is standing in for Mr Sunak during his holiday, told the protesters to “stop the stupid stunts”.

Protester Alex Wilson, who lives in Newcastle with her partner, who was also involved in this morning's protest, released a video message from on the roof of Mr Sunak’s house.

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“We’re all here because Rishi Sunak has opened the door to a new drilling frenzy in the North Sea while large parts of our world are literally on fire. This will be a disaster for the climate,” the climber, originally from East Yorkshire, said.

Greenpeace UK’s climate campaigner, Philip Evans, said: "Our activists have come down, having delivered their message to the Prime Minister who’s holidaying 5,000 miles away. It’s time for Sunak to decide which side he is on - Big Oil’s profits or our future on a habitable planet? 

"By ignoring the stark warnings of his own advisors, energy experts and the UN, and committing to a climate-wrecking drilling frenzy in the North Sea, the Prime Minister is pouring fuel on the wildfires, floods and unprecedented heat waves that are ruining lives and livelihoods right around the world.

"The buck stops with him, and he must take sole responsibility for the devastation he is unleashing.

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A Greenpeace spokesperson added: "Safety was the top priority for the activists when carrying out this action.

"The activists ensured that neither Rishi Sunak nor any of his family members were in the house before carrying out the protest.

"All of Greenpeace’s activists are rigorously trained to make sure people remain safe during the protest and that no damage was caused to Sunak’s property."