Energy firm EDF drops civil action against No Dash For Gas campaigners

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EDF has dropped a £5m civil lawsuit against a group of activists who occupied one of its power plants in Nottinghamshire for seven days.

The energy supplier had received a significant public backlash from the public over the action, but has now dropped the civil action as part of a settlement with the No Dash For Gas group.

More than 60,000 people signed a petition urging the 'Big Six' energy provider to drop the case it had opted to pursue due to the "damage, cost and disruption" caused during the protest.

One of the activists involved, Hannah Davey, said: "EDF's bullying lawsuit has bitten the dust because people power fought back.

"They thought they were taking on 21 of us, but they soon faced a movement that stood with us against an energy giant and its lawyers … only a few of us went up that chimney, but 64,000 people came down."

However, a spokesman for EDF clarified the firm's main reasons behind the decision to end the case.

He said: "Following an offer we received from the protesters' lawyers to settle the civil case, EDF Energy has been working to agree a compromise agreement acceptable to both parties.

"The protesters, who have all pleaded guilty in court to aggravated trespass, have agreed in principle to accept a permanent injunction which prevents them from entering multiple sites operated by EDF Energy.

"As a result of this, EDF Energy is dropping its claim for civil damages against them and believes that this is a fair and reasonable solution."

The 21 activists involved in the occupation of the West Burton site in Nottinghamshire still face criminal charges for their protest after all 21 pleaded guilty to aggravated trespass at Mansfield magistrates court on February 20. Seventeen of them will be sentenced next week on March 20, with the other four sentenced two weeks later on April 2.

EDF also said it was happy to inform the group of the measure it takes to tackle climate change.

The company further added it supports renewable energy, taking part in schemes such as the Green Deal to support the improved energy efficiency of its customers with subsidies offered on boilers, solar panels and other such work, but ultimately a number of power sources are required in order to keep UK households lights on.

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