Policing minister Chris Philp wrote on Twitter: “The public are sick of Just Stop Oil’s planned programme of deliberate disruptions to daily lives.
“I’ve just signed a statutory instrument (SI) to change the law, giving police power to stop protests causing more than a “minor hindrance” to a journey.”
Just Stop Oil said the government wanted to “ignore the people” by banning protest.
The SI – which comes into effect at midnight tonight (June 14) – is part of a bid by ministers to bring in the new rules via so-called secondary legislation, after a previous attempt to introduce the same changes under the Public Order Bill failed.
Government insists the changes are needed to give the police more clarity and lower the threshold for demonstrations being deemed “serious disruption”.
Home secretary Suella Braverman said “the police must be able to stop this happening” but critics branded the legal changes an attack on protest rights.
Labour frontbench peer Lord Coaker said: “It is an absolute fundamental constitutional outrage what has actually taken place.”
He accused the government of trying to “sneak through, in an underhand way, secondary legislation without proper public consultation”.
Green Party peer Baroness Jenny Jones said: “This is an authoritarian law that hands power to decide what is a good protest or a bad protest over to the police and the Home Office.
“And it’s being enacted in an authoritarian manner by ministerial decree.”