Caroline Lucas arrested at anti-fracking protest in Balcombe

The Green MP says she has "tried to use the democratic processes...but the government isn't listening."

Green MP Caroline Lucas has just been arrested at the anti-fracking demonstration in Balcombe. The party's former leader was one of the final protesters left after police broke up the sit-in against energy firm Cuadrilla earlier today. Lucas, who was accompanied by her son, looked "visibly shaken" according to eyewitnesses.

Earlier today, police served a Public Order Act notice, stating that the crowd might cause serious damage to property or disrupt the life of the community. As she was removed, Lucas told reporters: "I have tried to use the democratic processes, I have tried to raise the issue through those democratic channels but the government isn't listening."  

In a statement, she said: 

Along with everyone else who took action today, I’m trying to stop a process which could cause enormous damage for decades to come.

The evidence is clear that fracking and undermines efforts to tackle the climate crisis and poses potential risks to the local environment.

People today, myself included, took peaceful non-violent direct action only after exhausting every other means of protest available to us. I’m in the privileged position of being able to put questions to the government directly and arrange debates in Parliament, but still ministers have refused to listen.

Despite the opposition to fracking being abundantly clear, the government has completely ignored the views of those they are supposed to represent. When the democratic deficit is so enormous, people are left with very little option but to take peaceful, non-violent direct action.

Green MP Caroline Lucas is led away by police after being arrested at an anti-fracking demonstration in Balcombe, west Sussex.
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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.