Extinction Rebellion (XR) protesters may sue the Metropolitan Police after the protest ban was ruled illegal by the high court, said Dr Rupert Read, a spokesperson for XR and a lecturer at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The ruling that was handed down said the section 14 order imposed on XR protesters last month was unlawful.

Dr Read, a reader in philosophy in UEA’s School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies, is also a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion.

He said: “The ruling emphasises that assembly for peaceful purposes is not a crime.

“We are in an emergency. The right to peacefully assemble is therefore more crucial than ever. This judgement vindicates that right.”