A CAMPAIGNER has spoken out about his motivation after his arrest during the Extinction Rebellion protests in London.

Rodney Godfrey, from Leigh, had never been arrested before last Tuesday when Metropolitan Police officers removed him from a peaceful protest on the capital’s Waterloo Bridge.

The 68-year-old retired child protection officer only joined the climate change group in November but felt moved to join their cause.

During his arrest, for obstructing the highway and a public order offence, he was taken in a police van to Bromley police station, in Kent, where he was kept for 12 hours before being released - only to rejoin his fellow campaigners in their fight for Government action.

Mr Godfrey said: “The arrest was very unpleasant and quite anxiety-inducing but was absolutely necessary and I would do it again and again.

“I went up there on Monday and continued throughout the week after my arrest on Tuesday.

“When I was arrested, I was sat down on Waterloo Bridge with the rest of the Southend group when an officer came up to me and asked me if I was willing to leave the bridge and go to Marble Arch where the designated protest area was.

“When I said no, he told me I was under arrest and asked if I was willing to leave with him so I did.

“The police were very considerate. They understood why we were there and that it was peaceful but they were just following orders.”

Mr Godfrey described his experience in the cell as “uncomfortable” but said he didn’t regret his actions.

He added: “A small cohort of the Southend group drove through the night to come and pick me up at the station in Kent which just goes to show the level of dedication - it was inspiring.”

The group is campaigning for climate change to be declared a crisis with immediate emergency measures taken.

Arrests have now surpassed the 1,000 mark and Mr Godfrey is one of three from the Southend area.

He added: “One of the reasons I’m so concerned about it is, I think the government are not telling people the truth so they are unable to make informed decisions.

“For so long we’ve had climate change deniers in centre stage saying it’s not that bad.

“We don’t want to cause so much disruption but what do we do when we’ve got a government who are not listening?”

Yesterday, scores of protestors gathered outside Parliament and vowed to put pressure on politicians returning to work after Easter.

Mr Godfrey added: “It’s a necessary by-product of making the point.

“And we have been speaking to so many people - not one person has said we shouldn’t be doing what we’re doing.

“Our group is made up of campaigners [aged] from 12 up to 80 which demonstrates the fact these issues will impact us all and something needs to be done.”

Influential climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg, 16, met with several politicians yesterday as Extinction Rebellion protestors gathered in Parliament Square.

Mr Godfrey was released under investigation.