Liz Truss has pledged legislation to tackle “militant” climate activists after a Tory leadership hustings was disrupted by protesters.
Five people were kicked out of the event in Eastbourne after shouting “shame on you” to Truss, calling for a “Green New Deal” and claiming to be the majority.
They are believed to be from the Green New Deal Rising group
Tory members in the audience could be heard chanting “out, out, out!”
The foreign secretary described them as “infiltrators”, before vowing to clamp down on “militant trade unions” and “unfair protests”.
Truss said after they left the studio: “Can I just say a few words on the militant people who try and disrupt our country and who try and disrupt our democratic process and try and disrupt our essential services.
“I would legislate immediately to make sure that we are standing up to militant trade unions who stop ordinary commuters getting into work. And I would legislate to protect our essential services.”
She added: “And I will make sure that militant activists such as Extinction Rebellion are not able to disrupt ordinary people who work hard and do the right thing and go into work.
“I will never ever, ever allow our democracy to be disrupted by unfair protests.”
The disruption came as Truss was in the middle of delivering her opening speech at the fourth of 12 official Conservative leadership hustings.
Another protester was later escorted out as Truss was in the middle of a question and answer session with Tory members.
She joked: “I take it as a compliment that I’m so popular with Extinction Rebellion.”