Exclusive: Game of Thrones actor Jerome Flynn says HS2 is ‘crime against nature and our children'

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The Game of Thrones star was among supporters outside Isleworth Crown Court on Monday for the sentencing of Extinction Rebellion co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook.

Actor and singer Jerome Flynn has warned of the environmental impact of the building of the HS2 high-speed rail link calling it a “heinous crime” against nature.

The Game of Thrones star was amongst supporters outside Isleworth Crown Court on Monday as Extinction Rebellion co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook was sentenced for breaking a £27,660 government window at a HS2 protest.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The HS2 rail line project aims to create a high-speed, high-capacity and low-carbon-emission railway between London and the Midlands. It was originally due to connect central London with the north of England, but prime minister Rishi Sunak recently scrapped the northern stretch and questions are up in the air about funding for the line between Euston and the new Old Oak Common station being built in west London.

But the project has been beset by criticism over costs and environmental impact.

“There’s a crime at the heart of this case this morning and it's not Gail smashing up the window, it's the plan that HS2 was and still is in part which is a crime against nature and it's a crime against our children and our futures,” Flynn told LondonWorld ahead of the sentencing.

“It was a heinous crime from the idea of HS2 against our nature. Precious habitats, ancient forests, hedgerows, waterways being decimated for a trainline.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It's the last thing we need right now. We need to show our children that we’re investing and nurturing life and bringing back the wildlife, not taking it away.”

Game of Thrones star Jerome Flynn outside Isleworth Crown CourtGame of Thrones star Jerome Flynn outside Isleworth Crown Court
Game of Thrones star Jerome Flynn outside Isleworth Crown Court

According to a report by the Wildlife Trust the completion of the HS2 train line will result in the loss of irreplaceable habitats, including 108 ancient woodlands, veteran trees, wood pasture, old meadows, mires and wetlands.

The project will put at risk five internationally designated wildlife sites, 33 sites of special scientific interest and 21 local nature reserves amongst others.

The Robson and Jerome singer has been a supporter of Extinction Rebellion for the last six years and is passionate about preserving nature.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“If I think of a world without Extinction Rebellion I think we would be in a much worse place and today’s case shows you where we’re at,” he continued.

“It shows that they’re willing to charge Gail for coming out and protecting life. It shows you that we’re at the dying ends of a system that’s disconnected from life and not interested in the future for our children.

“This country is one of the most depleted in terms of its natural resources and its loss of habitat for nature which without it’s not going to be a planet worth living on.”

Dr Bradbrook received a suspended prison sentence for smashing a window at the UK’s Department for Transport offices in London in October 2019.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She was sentenced to one year and three months in jail, suspended for 15 months.

Dr Bradbrook was also told to carry out 150 hours of voluntary work to be completed over 12 months.

Extinction Rebellion described the act as "a rebellion against the government’s failure to take adequate and appropriate action on the climate and nature emergencies".

The group says it focuses on "non-violent civil disobedience" in order to demonstrate against government policy areas such as oil and gas licences and renewable energy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Another part of the route, between the East Midlands and Leeds, has already been cancelled.

Instead, £36bn funding will be put into alternative transport projects, Mr Sunak claimed.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.