Tina Rothery, a long-standing opponent of fracking, has been arrested outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road near Blackpool.Ms Rothery, a life-time member of the Green Party, said this evening she had been charged with obstructing a police officer.
The Green Party’s deputy leader, Amelia Womack, said in a statement:
“I offer my full support and total admiration for Tina.
“She is an inspiration and has proved time and again that to live in a free society we must be constantly challenging the decisions of those in power.
“She has put herself on the line to stop dirty and destructive frackng and with suporters and her political party behind her that effort will not be in vain.”
Ms Rothery stood for the Green Party as a parliamentary candidate against George Osborne in Tatton in the 2015 election and in her home Fylde constituency in 2017.
A regular protester at the site since work started in January this year, she was filmed being arrested this afternoon. The video, recorded by another protester, showed police warning her not to stand on the site side of the Preston New Road.
In a Facebook post this evening Ms Rothery said:
“I was charged with wilfully obstructing a police officer and offered the opportunity to take a caution.
“I said I was not guilty as I was not seeking to obstruct an officer. I was crossing a road.
“I will be in court on 10th October and will not accept anything other than justice. There was no crime by me.
“The arrest was painful on my wrists but once I was en route to the station I was treated well processed quickly and unharmed.”
The Green Party made Ms Rothery a life member after she was threatened with a jail sentence following a long-running legal dispute with Cuadrilla over court costs. (DrillOrDrop report).
She had been found in contempt of court after refusing to provide financial information when Cuadrilla and a group of landowners won more than £55,000 legal costs against her in a case dating back to 2014. In December 2016, a judge at Preston County Court discharged the contempt of court ruling.