Climate activists slammed as ‘cult’ after woman sets fire to herself

Climate protesters block roads into Parliament Square

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Climate activists have been slammed as participating in a “doomsday cult” following an extreme self-immolation stunt. A comedian and political commentator has described activist groups including Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil as being full of “crankery”.

Protesters have received much attention over the past year, disrupting famous works of art, defacing monuments and even sitting in busy roads in attempts to move the national discussion towards climate change.

As actions appear to be becoming more extreme, a video went viral over the weekend in which a young girl set fire to her own arm.

Twenty-one-year-old Maddie Budd told viewers: “We’re setting ourselves on fire everyday until UK domestic flights are banned.”

She goes on to four lighter fluid on her arm and then setting light to it, before letting out a piercing scream and attempting to shake the flames out.

This video emerged after the same activist was filmed pouring liquid human excrement over a memorial to Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Budd again explained that she would conduct this act every day until UK private jets are banned.

Comedian and political commentator Simon Evans described the young girl as a “madcap eco-protest[er]”.

He wrote in Spiked: “As with similarly madcap eco-protests by Extinction Rebellion and its splinter groups… it hardly needs to be said that these measures are likely to prove alienating to the vast majority of people.

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“That includes even those who are worried about climate change, and especially anyone who relies on any form of transport more power-assisted than that favoured by Sir Tom.

“These protests seem actively designed to provoke an angry reaction, a recoil, from anyone not already persuaded that we are going over the eco-precipice as we speak.”

Mr Evans added that such activists form part of a “doomsday cult” packed with an “age-old Millenarian crankery”.

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Budd has now been jailed ahead of her sentencing after pleading guilty to causing criminal damage.

District Judge Louisa Cieciora said the starting point for sentencing could be 18 months’ imprisonment.

She also told the court she had “substantial grounds” to believe the activist would commit another offence.

Prosecutor Jordan Pratt told Westminster Magistrates Court Budd had carried out an “abhorrent act”.

He added: “I need not remind the court of the impact that Tom Moore had. He was a figurehead who people rallied round to raise tens of millions of pounds walking round his garden at the height of the pandemic.”

Budd is a former medical student with no fixed address.

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