An Insulate Britain activist arrested several times for causing traffic chaos is married to a Transport for London director, it has emerged.
Cathy Eastburn, 54, vowed to ‘unleash hell’ on motorists unless the Government met the Extinction Rebellion offshoot group’s demands.
Despite a number of High Court injunctions threatening them with up to two years jail time, protesters have been blockading major roads.
Ms Eastburn has been arrested several times for blocking the M25, and she could face prison if she tries again, after TfL took out an injunction.
Now it has been revealed she is the wife of Benedict Plowden, 58, who earns a £170,000-a-year salary with the transport body.
He is in charge of the capital’s Covid Restart and Recovery Scheme, tasked with ‘getting London moving after the pandemic’.
Mr Plowden and Ms Eastburn share a £1.5million home in south London. It is believed to have been used by Extinction Rebellion veteran David McKenny, 38.
The couple’s arrangement was blasted as ‘staggeringly inappropriate’ and it emerged last night that Mr Plowden is stepping down from his role.
Tory MP and transport select committee member Greg Smith told the Sun: ‘Insulate Britain has caused untold misery for individuals and businesses over recent weeks.
‘It is an absolute kick in the teeth that someone senior in TfL — an arm of the British state — has been harbouring them in their house. This is unacceptable.’
Ms Eastburn was arrested twice during Extinction Rebellion’s 2019 London protests, in which she glued herself to a hotel and DLR train.
The sound therapist and professional musician’s first known involvement with Insulate Britain was on September 15, when she was spotted on the M25 near Dartford.
She was arrested two days later after returning to London’s orbital motorway, injunction papers show.
Then on September 21 the mum-of-two was pictured glued to the road on the M25, near Cobham, Surrey.
She was arrested again just says later for a similar stunt near the motorway’s junction leading to Heathrow.
Last month Ms Eastburn told how she’d been arrested four times for her Insulate Britain protests, but hadn’t been questioned further by police.
Her out-of-office reply says: ‘If you’re reading this, it is because I have been arrested and possibly put in prison on remand.’
Insulate Britain are demanding all homes in Britain are properly insulated to help fight climate change.
But the group has lost sympathy from the public after causing misery for drivers and businesses and stopping ambulances from getting through.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan previously said he believed Insulate Britain’s protests had backfired.
He added: ‘I think the tactics of those people who are protesting on the M25 are completely wrong.
‘You’re endangering your own life, you’re endangering the lives of those on the M25.
‘They could be people rushing to get to a hospital, it could be they’re going to an appointment, and you’re jeopardising their safety by jumping in front of cars.
‘You’re not making people like me more sympathetic to this issue of climate emergency.’
Last night Transport for London revealed Mr Plowden would be quitting after 20 years working for the body.
A spokesperson said: ‘We do not comment on the activities of the families of our staff. Ben Plowden has been a dedicated servant of London for many years – including playing a pivotal role in ensuring the London 2012 Games were a success.
‘He decided several weeks ago that he will be leaving TfL at the end of October to pursue other opportunities.’
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