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Vicky Pryce Trial: Anti-Nuclear Campaigner Stuart Holmes Reveals Why He Is Protesting At Court

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Watch any recent footage of Vicky Pryce approaching Southwark Crown Court and behind the defendant and the gaggle of lawyers, press and TV crews waiting outside, you might just catch a glimpse of Stuart William Holmes.

The pensioner activist and his dog, also called Stuart, has stood behind Pryce on every day of the trial so far, holding an anti-nuclear placard in front of the cameras, in a desperate bid for publicity.

As Pryce made the familiar walk to court on Thursday, Holmes strolled behind her, facing the media scrum, angling his sign for maximum exposure.

vicky pryce trial

Holmes has been present everyday of Vicky Pryce's trial

The gathered photographers are not Holmes biggest fans. They complain they cannot sell photos that have his sign in the background.

One of the photographers loses his patience with Holmes' posturing and tears the sign off Stuart, throwing it to the side.

As Pryce slips inside, probably glad of the distraction, a scuffle breaks out between Holmes and the photographer.

A member of the public comes to Holmes aid: "Get off him! He's an old man!"

He's roundly turned upon by all the photographers present.

"Fuck off mate, this is nothing to do with you, he does this every day!" says one.

When the fuss dies down, Holmes walks over and explains that this is all par for the course.

"We don't fight like that all the time," he says.

To understand why he puts himself through all this you need to know Holmes' cause.

His sign reads: "FUKUSHIMA HUHNE'S PRESS GAG=TREASON. GLOBAL EXTINCTION?"

Stuart the dog has his own sign titled: "NO NUKES".

vicky pryce trial

Holmes has been an activist for 30 years

It sounds dramatic but what does it mean?

The Fukushima nuclear disaster was a product of the tsunami that devastated the Pacific coast of Japan in March, 2011.

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At the time of the catastrophe, Chris Huhne was the UK energy minister and was heavily criticised by some for his response to Fukushima.

E-mails that surfaced after the event appeared to show Huhne co-ordinating a strategy with the nuclear industry to play down the effects of the disaster.

At the time, the UK government was trying to promote its own nuclear agenda.

Holmes says: "The whole point of conspiring with the nuclear industry was to maintain support for the government's nuclear policy.

"People cannot make informed decisions if the media are not informing them.

"Fukushima could kills us all. We're hanging by our fingernails."

Holmes is angry that Huhne has gone through the legal wrangler for a relatively trivial crime yet he goes unpunished for what he did as energy minister.

He says: "Chris Huhne conspired to stop the truth coming out about Fukushima and that was an act of treason.

"I'm of the opinion that ministers of state do a really important job and I'm quite willing to forget the speeding points but not the treason.

"The courts are ignoring what's important and promoting trivial nonsense at muggins' public expense."

Holmes is no stranger to controversy. He has been an activist for 30 years, relying on the support of Hare Krishna so he can devote time to his work.

His finest moment came in 2009 when he hijacked the opening of Antony Gormley's Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth exhibition, climbing up as Boris Johnson spoke and unfurling an anti-smoking banner.

"I used to lobby against tobacco but this took priority. We have got to address this with urgency," he says.

vicky pryce trial

Holmes regains his composure after the scuffle

At this point his theories become a little more "unsupported".

He says: "Our present cancer epidemic is the result of the atom bomb tests of the 60s and the Chernobyls and the Fukushimas."

What about smoking or diet?

"The only reason smoking causes cancer is because the plants have absorbed polonium," he insists.

Back to Huhne and what does he think would be a suitable punishment?

"That's not for me to decide. I'm not bothered about the punishment, what I'm concerned about is that we stop the problem.

"The Russians were quite good with Chernobyl. They sorted it out in a few weeks, they sent about half a million troops in.

"A lot of them died of radiation, but they sorted it!"

"Close all these nuclear power plants down immediately. It's worse than bombs!"

Whether you agree with Holmes or not, you have to admire his passion and determination.

And Stuart's...

vicky pryce trial