ACTIVISTS have stormed the headquarters of an energy giant in protest over soaring bills in a dramatic stance against the cost-of-living crisis.

Members of the Scottish Resistance and other activists invaded the Glasgow offices of Scottish Power on Tuesday morning, demanding a meeting with the firm’s chief executive.

The small band of activists, led by social justice activist and pro-independence campaigner Sean Clerkin, also urged people to back the Don’t Pay campaign, which is telling bill payers to cancel their energy payments in protest over rocketing prices.

Activists left the premises after around 10 minutes and police have confirmed no arrests were made.

The National: A security guard watches on at protesters occupying Scottish Power today (Credit: Gordon Terris)A security guard watches on at protesters occupying Scottish Power today (Credit: Gordon Terris)

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Clerkin and James Scott, the chief organiser of the Scottish Resistance, gave speeches within the lobby of the building, urging both the Government and energy companies to take urgent action to tackle the rising cost of living.

Before the protest, Clerkin said: “It’s all about saying to the Westminster government that these price hikes in energy are unacceptable.

“They have to bring in a standard tariff, where they basically decouple the price of oil and gas from the international market and go from the renewables and the nuclear to the highest of gas and oil, average the price out and you’ll have a far lower tariff for everybody.

The National: Sean Clerkin, who led the protest entering the building Sean Clerkin, who led the protest entering the building

“And also bring in a social tariff of discounted prices for the sick, the disabled, the dying and the elderly for this winter because if you don’t do that a lot of people are going to starve and die of cold-related death this winter.”

Clerkin said Gordon Brown and Nicola Sturgeon were correct to demand urgent action on the cost-of-living crisis after both made significant recent interventions on the issue.

The National: Activists left of their own volition after around 10 minutes and protested for a short time outsideActivists left of their own volition after around 10 minutes and protested for a short time outside

The First Minister has demanded Boris Johnson – who has so far committed to taking no action on the crisis – convene an emergency meeting after the Bank of England last week predicted the UK was facing a recession, soaring inflation and rocketing bills.

Brown penned an opinion piece in The Observer which called for the two Tory leadership candidates to agree to take action on the cost of living while calling for an immediate emergency budget with measures to help those fearing they will not be able to feed themselves or heat their homes this winter.

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Clerkin and the other activists also announced their support of non-payment of energy bills come October. 

The National:

The nationwide campaign group Don't Pay hopes to achieve a critical mass of refusniks which they say will protect those cancelling their direct debit payments from legal action. 

Energy prices are expected to rise again in October and experts have warned the average annual bill for households across the country could reach £4266 in January.

Speaking after the protest, Clerkin said he was satisfied with how it had gone and explained numbers had deliberately been kept small so as to minimise the risk of arrest.

According to the most recent figures, Scottish Power’s underlying profits dropped 39% as of October 2021.

Tory leadership hopeful Liz Truss has come under fire after she indicated there would be no more “handouts” if she became prime minister. 

Her rival Rishi Sunak has indicated he is open to introducing direct measures to support struggling households by seeking "efficiencies" in departments where money would usually support growth and development in Government departments. 

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “There were no arrests. Protest was peaceful and the demonstrators left on request of police.”

A ScottishPower spokesperson said: “We fully recognise the effect the cost-of-living crisis is having on people across the UK, not just on energy bills but across the wider economy

"This issue is bigger than just one industry and that’s why we are actively engaging with Government on what more can be done to help people, particularly the most vulnerable this winter. 

“Any customers struggling should contact us; we are here to help with our dedicated team specially trained by debt advice charity Step Change to help manage customers’ individual situations sensitively and get access to a broad net of support.”