The ringleader of the latest Just Stop Oil protests on the M25 is Roger Hallam, perhaps the most high-profile climate activist you’ve never heard of. 

Before taking the helm of Just Stop Oil, Hallam co-founded Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain, two eco-groups which have been responsible for much of the civil disruption over climate change in recent years. 

Hallam was one of eight people who were charged on Tuesday with conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and then remanded in custody. It’s also not the first time he has caused controversy, even amongst other climate activists.  

In 2019, Hallam said the Holocaust was “almost a normal event… just another f***ery in human history,” only to be condemned by the German branch of Extinction Rebellion, who said “he contravenes the principles of XR, which does not tolerate antisemitism, and he is no longer welcome in XR Germany.”

Born in Manchester in 1966, Hallam later moved to Carmarthen in Wales, where he ran an organic farm for 20 years. When his business eventually collapsed, Hallam blamed the loss of his 10-acre plot on extreme weather events. 

With his business destroyed, Hallam left for Kings College London, where he spent four years living in his car and studying a PhD in civil disobedience, “in the tradition of Martin Luther King and Gandhi”. 

In his own words, Hallam’s studies revealed to him “the actions that we need to take in order to buy ourselves as much time as possible and mitigate indescribable suffering that awaits us”.

In 2021, Hallam wrote an insane apocalypse-raving pamphlet (and later released a similar video) in which he said: “A gang of boys will break into your house demanding food. They will see your mother, your sister, your girlfriend, and they will gang rape her on the kitchen table.” 

Also last year, MailOnline reported that Hallam had six diesel vehicles on his farm in Wales and had been described as “a prize hypocrite” by a neighbour. 

While for now, there seems to be no end to the protests in sight, arrests have continued, with two people having been arrested on Tuesday for causing a public nuisance in Essex, as they tried to access gantries, and another in Surrey. A police officer was also injured during the Essex protest. 

Following similar interventions earlier this week, protestors have again been disrupting traffic at multiple sites in Surrey, Kent, Essex and Hertfordshire, as the coalition of climate groups tries to force the government to stop new licensing of oil and gas – what Just Stop Oil describes as a “genocidal death project”. 

And they plan to continue. In a statement, a Just Stop Oil spokesman said: “This is not a one day event, expect us every day and anywhere.” 

On Monday, 23 arrests were made, and a further 16 on Tuesday. On Sunday, the High Court granted an injunction meaning that protestors could be found in contempt of court for their involvement. 

LBC reporter Charlotte Lynch has also revealed that she was arrested, handcuffed, and held in custody for five hours, after reporting on the protests in Hertfordshire on Tuesday, in what she described as an “absolutely terrifying” ordeal. However, Charlie Hall, Chief Constable of Hertfordshire Police has said that measures have now been put in place to ensure that legitimate media can do their jobs. 

For now, Roger Hallam remains in custody at Wandsworth prison, where he has been remanded until his next court hearing at Southwark Crown Court on 6 December. You can be sure we have not heard the last of Hallam.