Fathers 4 Justice close Severn Bridge

The Severn Bridge linking England and Wales was closed today after it was scaled by members of campaign group Fathers 4 Justice ahead of a British royal visit to a newly-opened arts venue.

The Severn Bridge linking England and Wales was closed today after it was scaled by members of campaign group Fathers 4 Justice ahead of a British royal visit to a newly-opened arts venue.

Group spokesman Jason Hatch said three men and a woman, all dressed as Father Christmas, had got onto the gantry over the bridge which links England to Wales.

He said they had a banner reading “Fathers 4 Justice proudly present denied access”. The demonstrators are on the Welsh side of the bridge near the toll booths.

A Gwent Police spokeswoman confirmed that the bridge was closed in both directions.

The protest comes hours ahead of a Royal Gala at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay which opened on Friday.

The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales are due to attend tonight’s performance.

Mr Hatch said: “The purpose is to appeal to Her Majesty the Queen to put the father back into Christmas.”

He said the protesters named as Jonathan “Jolly” Stanesby, Mike Downs, Elaine Risc and Darryl Westall – planned to stay up until Monday night.

He said other protesters from the organisation were expected later at the Wales Millennium Centre despite an injunction taken out against them to prevent them targeting the celebrations.

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