Man charged over London Stock Exchange disruption plot

Man Charged Over London Stock Exchange Disruption Plot
Five other people – three women and two men – who were also arrested in connection with the plan have been bailed pending further inquiries. Photo: PA Images
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George Lithgow and Joseph Draper, PA

A man has been charged with conspiracy to cause public nuisance after an alleged plot to disrupt the London Stock Exchange and cause “huge economic damage” was revealed.

Sean Middleborough (31), from Liverpool, will appear at Wirral Magistrates’ Court on Monday, London's Metropolitan Police said.


Five other people – three women and two men – were also arrested in connection with the plot and have been bailed pending further inquiries, Scotland Yard said.

The Met began an investigation after being passed information on Friday by the Daily Express.

Activists from the group Palestine Action were allegedly plotting to “target” the London Stock Exchange on the morning of January 15th, causing damage and “locking on” to stop the building opening for trading, the force said.

Stock Exchange
Protesters planned to block the entrance to the Stock Exchange to cause ‘huge economic damage’, it was alleged (Nick Ansell/PA)

The Express reported that the plot would kick-start a planned “week of chaos”, while the Met said there was a “suggestion that this was one part of a planned week of action”.

The newspaper said the group hoped to cause “huge economic damage” by climbing on top of two revolving doors at the front of the building, armed with red paint-filled fire extinguishers, before locking their necks to the glass entrance using bike locks.

Other activists would lock themselves together in front of the main and back entrances, while fake bank notes, painted red to represent blood, were fired from “money guns”.


The allegations come after a two-month investigation during which a reporter posed as a member of the group, the Express reported.

It claimed to have been in touch with the group’s ringleader, who said on the encrypted messaging app Signal that Monday’s plot was part of a week of action against British institutions “complicit in Israeli apartheid”.

A 29-year-old woman was arrested in Albert Road, Brent, north London, and a 23-year-old man was held in Voss Street, Tower Hamlets, east London.



Two women, aged 28 and 26, were arrested in Liverpool, and a 27-year-old man was arrested in Brighton, East Sussex.

Writing on X, formerly Twitter, Palestine Action said the “campaign to end Israel’s weapons trade remains undeterred”.


Metropolitan Police Detective Superintendent Sian Thomas said: “We believe this group was ready to carry out a disruptive and damaging stunt which could have had serious implications had it been carried out successfully.

“I’m grateful to the Express for their willingness to provide the information gleaned from their own investigation. It was instrumental in helping us intervene successfully.

“Having only been provided with the material on Friday afternoon we had limited time to act.

“Mindful of the suggestion that this was one part of a planned week of action, we are in contact with the City of London Police as well as other forces across the UK to ensure that appropriate resources are in place to deal with any disruption in the coming days.”

Palestine Action previously told the PA news agency: “The London Stock Exchange raise billions of pounds for apartheid Israel and trade shares in weapons manufacturers which arm Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people.

“Whilst Britain remains complicit in the brutal colonisation of Palestine, our direct action campaign will not be deterred.”

Several members of the group, which was formed in July 2020 and claims to want to shut down the arms trade with Israel, have been the subject of legal action in recent months.

In December, eight activists were acquitted of a total of 12 charges, including criminal damage, burglary and encouraging criminal damage, the group said, while its founder, Richard Barnard, was convicted of criminal damage for his involvement in action against an Elbit Ferranti factory in Oldham, Greater Manchester.

Seven activists currently face charges of burglary and criminal damage in a trial at Bristol Crown Court after allegedly entering Elbit’s headquarters in the city.

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