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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 April, 2005, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Prescott roof activists arrested
Activists on the top of John Prescott's house

Police have arrested eight Greenpeace activists who climbed on the roof of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's Hull home.

A number of campaigners climbed onto the roof on Tuesday and tried to install solar panels.

The activists began packing up the panels in the afternoon after Mr Prescott refused to talk to them.

He called the protest a "deplorable" publicity stunt and said the protesters had terrorised his wife.

It's not pleasant to be invaded in the privacy of your own home
Supt Gavin Collinson
The eight protesters climbed down ladders from the side of his house and were met by officers from Humberside Police.

They were then handcuffed and taken to a waiting police van where they were arrested for "harrassment of a person in a dwelling".

Supt Gavin Collinson said they would be interviewed at a nearby police station.

He said the distress caused to Mrs Prescott had been immense.

"It's not pleasant to be invaded in the privacy of your own home and it is being treated seriously.

"She's very distressed but she's pleased with the happy outcome."

Publicity stunt

Before the protesters came down Greenpeace spokeswoman Emily Armistead said they were going to leave the solar panels on the ground and would install them for Mr Prescott later, if he so wished.

Campaigners say the protest was aimed at Mr Prescott because of his responsibility for housing policy and was intended to highlight energy wasted by housing in Britain.

Visiting Gloucester, Mr Prescott said he did not want to give the group extra publicity by talking too much about the protest.

He told BBC News 24: "It's now clearly a publicity stunt and it terrorised my wife in the early hours in the morning to see all those men scrambling over the building.

"She did not know who they were. It's deplorable and unacceptable even for a publicity stunt."

Supt Collinson said police officers challenged the demonstrators as they approached the gates to the house, but when they realised it was a peaceful protest they withdrew that challenge.



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