Owen Jones defends Just Stop Oil-style protester who threw confetti at George Osborne’s wedding

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Left-wing Guardian columnist Owen Jones today defended the Just Stop Oil-style protester who disrupted George Osborne’s wedding by throwing orange confetti over him and his new bride.

A mystery ‘lone wolf’ woman tipped bright orange confetti over the former Tory chancellor and his wife Thea Rogers after a ceremony in Somerset on Saturday afternoon attended by politicians including ex-premier David Cameron.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain this morning, Mr Jones insisted that the stunt had not ruined the today. 

In a furious bust-up with hosts Susanna Reid and Ed Balls, the columnist for the left-wing newspaper called Mr Osborne’s austerity-era measures ‘far far worse’, adding: ‘Genuinely, do you think it [the wedding] was ruined because of some orange confetti? I really don’t think so, I’m sorry.

‘I don’t think that’s actually proportionate whatsoever.

Owen Jones (right) told Ed Balls he did not think the wedding day was ruined because of the confetti stunt

Owen Jones (right) told Ed Balls he did not think the wedding day was ruined because of the confetti stunt 

Owen Jones spoke about the mystery protester who appeared at George Osborne's wedding

Owen Jones spoke about the mystery protester who appeared at George Osborne’s wedding

The couple looked behind them in some confusion as the confetti was thrown as they left the church

The couple looked behind them in some confusion as the confetti was thrown as they left the church

Just Stop Oil has revealed that the woman who disrupted George Osborne's wedding day by showering him and his new bridge with orange confetti (pictured) is not part of their group

Just Stop Oil has revealed that the woman who disrupted George Osborne’s wedding day by showering him and his new bridge with orange confetti (pictured) is not part of their group

‘You said you had a lovely day, you had a great day and it clearly was a happy occasion.’ 

Susanna Reid raised the question of whether if someone does something you politically disagree with, should they be punished in perpetuity ‘and then any good moment that they have needs to be spoiled?’

Mr Jones said: ‘It’s more the case that I don’t think politicians should do very, very terrible things and destroy the lives of huge numbers of people…’

He added: ‘I just feel over and over again, there are people, like George Osborne, who – I don’t think any politician has caused so much ruin in this country than George Osborne. 

‘The decimation of the welfare state, which plunged huge numbers of people into poverty and misery..’

Mr Jones said: ‘Just that one example of a mum who lost her beloved daughter and then had to pay the bedroom tax because she had a spare bedroom, that is far, far, far, far worse than orange confetti on your wedding day.’

He argued ‘we don’t know anything about the circumstances’ of the woman protesting, ‘we don’t even know who she is.’ 

Owen Jones told Susanna Reid and Ed Balls he didn't think it was 'proportionate' to suggest Mr Osborne's wedding was ruined because of the confetti protester

Owen Jones told Susanna Reid and Ed Balls he didn’t think it was ‘proportionate’ to suggest Mr Osborne’s wedding was ruined because of the confetti protester

The former chancellor married Thea Rogers at a ceremony in Bruton, Somerset

The former chancellor married Thea Rogers at a ceremony in Bruton, Somerset

The former chancellor, 52, married Thea Rogers, 40, at a ceremony in Somerset on Saturday afternoon.

After the ceremony a mystery woman, dressed as if she was attending the wedding, tipped bright orange confetti over the couple as they left the churchyard – and Just Stop Oil said she was not a member of their group. 

Just Stop Oil, which aims to pressure the Government into abandoning fossil fuels, has recently targeted The Ashes and Wimbledon alongside its six-week campaign of destruction through slow marches in London.

But a mystery unravelled after Just Stop Oil’s spokesman James Skeet confirmed the protester at Mr Osborne’s wedding was not a member of the group, despite the eco-zealots tweeting that he ‘looked good in orange’ after. 

They also said he ‘carries a heavy responsibility for the inability of successive Government to address the climate crisis’.

Mr Skeet said: ‘Unfortunately, we can’t claim credit for the orange confetti on this one, but we wish the happy couple well.

He added: ‘I neither condemn nor praise it. I don’t know who that lady is.’

When quizzed on whether the group welcomed outside protesters taking similar action to Just Stop Oil, the spokesman said: ‘As a policy, Just Stop Oil is always accountable for our actions. You will know it is us because we will admit to it.

‘The fact that we were vague last night implies that it wasn’t really us.

‘If orange confetti is the symbol of the revolution then so be it, but obviously you can always guarantee that we will be accountable for any actions that we undertake.’

In a tweet on Sunday, the group, referring to ‘confettigate’, said: ‘The lady who threw confetti in Bruton yesterday was upholding a tradition that is common across many cultures.

‘We absolutely defend the right for people to throw confetti (of whatever colour) at weddings and other celebrations.

‘If it was a form of protest – which is yet to be established – we applaud it and thank the person concerned. It was peaceful and not especially disruptive, but got massive media attention for Just Stop Oil’s demand.’

Former chancellor George Osborne with his wife and former adviser, Thea Rogers, outside St Mary's Church

Former chancellor George Osborne with his wife and former adviser, Thea Rogers, outside St Mary’s Church

The group added: ‘However, as much as we applaud the use of orange confetti at this wedding, we were not responsible.’

Footage from outside the church showed the mystery woman, who was wearing a floral dress and a suit jacket, approach the couple as they were escorted by a security guard towards a waiting vehicle.

She took a handful of orange confetti from a paper bag with a Union Jack printed on it and threw it over the backs of the newlyweds, before tipping the remnants over Mr Osborne’s head and jacket.

The confetti was very similar to that released by activists on Centre Court at Wimbledon on Wednesday – although those Just Stop Oil protesters wore t-shirts revealing their affiliation to the group.

The couple looked behind them, appearing puzzled, but the woman did not appear to speak to them.

Their security guard then held out an arm to keep the woman at a distance from the couple.

* Do YOU know who the mystery protester is? Email tips@dailymail.co.uk

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