The protesters who climbed Big Ben to demonstrate against the war in Iraq will not be prosecuted, police confirmed today.
Greenpeace supporters Harry Westaway and brother Simon scaled the London landmark on the anniversary of the invasion on March 20 and unfurled banners which stated “time for the truth”.
The brothers, both from Lewes, East Sussex, were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage, and bailed to return to a London police station today.
"We climbed Big Ben to urge Tony Blair to come clean about why he went to war against Iraq"
A spokesman for New Scotland Yard said this afternoon that no further action was being taken against the men.
He declined to comment further.
Greenpeace welcomed the move. A spokeswoman said: “We are very happy that no charges are being brought against Harry and Simon for their peaceful anti-war protest at Big Ben.
“They climbed Big Ben to express their strongly-held belief that the war against Iraq was wrong and illegal.”
The brothers’ seven-hour protest sparked a review of policing, and at the time they described overcoming Parliament’s defenses as “easy”.
They cleared a wall and security fence before climbing the 315ft tower.
Today Harry Westaway, 28, said criticism of the police response was “misplaced” and added: “We feel their reaction was responsible and proportionate.”
He said: “We climbed Big Ben to urge Tony Blair to come clean about why he went to war against Iraq.
“It clearly wasn’t because of WMD, as none have been found.
“It clearly went against the will of the United Nations and was illegal under international law. It has only increased the threat to Britain from international terrorism.
“Finally, it was clearly without the support of the UK public who came out in unprecedented numbers to urge him not to take us to war.
“One year on, we urge him to come clean, admit his mistakes and commit to never undertake an illegal pre-emptive war in Britain’s name ever again.”