CLIMATE activists have sprayed the Scottish Parliament building with red paint in protest at the UK Government's intent to sign off on hundreds of new oil and gas licenses and the Scottish Government's "deafening silence".

Social media video footage showed This Is Rigged campaigners spraying red paint over the front door of the building on Tuesday.

It comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced during a visit to Shell's St Fergus Gas Plant in Aberdeenshire on Monday that the UK Government intends to grant hundreds of new oil and gas licenses for the North Sea. 

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The campaigners are demanding that the Scottish Government vocally oppose all new oil and gas licensing and put forward a "clear and fully funded" plan for a fair transition for oil workers. 

At around 1.30pm on Tuesday, activists hit the front door of the parliament with paint. The group were previously behind repeated disruptions at FMQs before security was heightened inside the building. 

Holyrood is currently closed for summer recess. The Scottish Parliament said that the protest forced the building to close early and public tours to be cancelled.  


"The action follows Rishi Sunak’s announcement in favour of 100 new oil and gas licenses yesterday. 

"@scotgov’s silence on new oil and gas is DEAFENING. They must vocally oppose ALL new oil and gas, or they are complicit."

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The 20-second video clip, posted on Twitter, shows four activists targeting the front door of the parliament building in Edinburgh.

Two are holding hoses pouring out red paint onto the building, while another can be seen using a water gun and a third appears to be throwing paint balloons at the entrance. 

Hannah Taylor, a 23-year-old master’s student from Sheffield, who took part in the action, said: "I took action today as a direct response to Rishi Sunak's statement today that he has approved 100 new oil licenses for next year.

The National: This is Rigged targeted Holyrood on TuesdayThis is Rigged targeted Holyrood on Tuesday (Image: This Is Rigged)

"The IPCC report states clearly that even one new oil license is a death sentence for millions and will actively make our future unlivable.

"The silence of the Scottish government in light of this makes them complicit. 

"It is time for Scotland to stand up to Westminster and demand climate justice.”

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Ruth, a student who also took part in the protest, added: “We need the Scottish government to stand up to the Tories’ murderous oil licensing plans!

"The IPCC is telling us the future the Tories have us on track for, is not livable and history tells us how to fight back, through civil disobedience.”

The paint was quickly removed by Holyrood staff using a pressure washer while the activists were still on site. 

The National: The paint was swiftly washed off by staff at the parliamentThe paint was swiftly washed off by staff at the parliament (Image: This Is Rigged)

We told how young Scottish environmental campaigners were "furious" at the news yesterday, as they wrote exclusively for The National.

We also revealed the links Tory donors have to fossil fuel interests and climate change denial as outrage at the news spread.

And, earlier, SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn likened the Tories' oil and gas policy to Donald Trump's campaign slogan "drill baby drill" as he blasted the lack of focus on climate compatibility and energy security. 

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "We were made aware of protestors at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh shortly after 1.40pm on Tuesday, 1 August.

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"Officers are in attendance."

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Decisions on oil and gas exploration and licensing remain reserved to the UK Government.

"The Scottish Government is committed to a just transition, and ensuring we take workers with us on our journey to net zero.

"Through our draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan, we have set out a clear pathway to deliver on global commitments and capitalise on the enormous opportunities offered by becoming a net zero economy.

The National: The activists targeted the building with waterguns filled with red paintThe activists targeted the building with waterguns filled with red paint (Image: This Is Rigged)

"Our focus must be meeting our energy security needs, reducing emissions and ensuring a just transition for our oil and gas workforce as North Sea resources decline.

“We have consistently called for the UK Government’s Climate Compatibility Checkpoint to be strengthened and are consulting on our approach to energy transition.

"We encourage stakeholders to contribute to the consultation rather than disrupting the democratic processes of the Scottish Parliament.”

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A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “These protestors have repeatedly targeted the Scottish Parliament and its democratic functions.

“As a result of their actions today, we have had to cancel our free public tours and close the building earlier than scheduled.

“Up to 1,000 people visit Holyrood a day at this time of year, and many will have been severely inconvenienced – not just those who had booked on to tours but other members of the public who wish to visit and engage with their national Parliament.

“This is now a matter for Police Scotland.”