The House of Commons public gallery was taken over tonight by topless protesters covered in slogans about saving the environment.
12 protesters paraded in the gallery and pressed their mostly bare buttocks against security glass that separated them from MPs debating Brexit.
Ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband was caught on TV looking boggle-eyed at the Extinction Rebellion group, who take part in environmental activism by direct action.
The protest proved a major distraction for MPs as they debated a series of “indicative votes” on Britain’s Brexit future – with many making jokes about nudity.
Shouting slogans that could barely be heard through the glass, some of the six men and six women appeared to have glued their hands to the toughened screen.
One man with “stop wasting time” scrawled on his chest was carried out forcibly by two police or security officers while Tory Nick Boles talks about an emergency brake on free movement.
Some protesters appeared to have their hands glued down so hard it took 20 minutes for officers to remove them all.
The campaigners had slogans scrawled across their bodies including “climate justice act now”, “eco collapse”, “stop wasting time” and “XR”.
Others had written on them “April 15” – which Extinction Rebellion says is the start date for an “international rebellion” that will “shut down central London for days”.
One woman appeared to be dressed as an elephant, with her bare breasts painted grey and wearing ears and a trunk.
Some banged their free hands on the glass screen – installed to protect MPs after a Fathers4Justice protester flung purple powder at Tony Blair – while one tapped a ring on his finger on the glass.
Police or security officers and House of Commons doorkeepers cleared all visitors from the public gallery and began removing the protesters one by one.
Some walked out of the gallery willingly with officers, while others had to be dragged out forcibly.
One woman was carried out horizontally by four police officers, one holding each of her limbs.
Officers eventually fetched a bottle of a chemical and squirted the nozzle on the last remaining protester’s hand, apparently to dislodge it from the glass.
The bearded, long-haired man was eventually carried out of the gallery by three officers, turning his face resolutely to MPs as he left.
Visible smudges remained on the glass screen.
In a statement the group said they launched the protest because climate change was being “flagrantly and recklessly ignored by our government and media”.
Activist Mark Øvland, 35, said in a press release issued during the protest: “By undressing in parliament, we are putting ourselves in an incredibly vulnerable position, highlighting the vulnerability that all of us share in the face of environmental and societal breakdown.
“There is an elephant in the room and it is demanding attention.”
Iggy Fox, 24, a wildlife biologist said: “I’m tired of the time and resources our government wastes rearranging the deckchairs on the Brexitanic.
“I want a future, and right now they are burning it like there’s no tomorrow.”
The protest proved distracting for some MPs and Commons security who now need to deal with the intrusion by the activists.
Speaking in favour of his proposal Peter Kyle MP was caught out by the sight.
“The bottom line is..” Peter Kyle MP said to laughter from across the house.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman later said 12 unnamed people had been arrested for “outraging public decency”.