Boris Johnson’s father has told Extinction Rebellion protesters that their work is “extremely important” – less than two days after his son labelled them “uncooperative crusties”.

Stanley Johnson said the PM’s remarks had been “made in humour”.

Meanwhile, an extra 500 officers from across England and Wales will be sent to London to help police the climate change protests.

More than 600 arrests have been made since they began on Monday.

In April, there were 1,130 arrests during the group’s 11 days of demonstrations.

Speaking at an event held by the group in Trafalgar Square in London on Wednesday, Stanley Johnson – a former Tory MEP – said: “I’m showing up here because I think what they [Extinction Rebellion] are doing is extremely important.

“From tiny acorns, big movements spring.

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