A man who climbed Big Ben dressed in a leotard and wig during a protest has avoided jail.

Benjamin Atkinson, 44, spent three hours on the scaffolding at Queen Elizabeth Tower on October 18 last year.

The dad-of-two, of Ambleside, Cumbria, had been taking part in a protest outside the Palace of Westminster when he climbed over the fences and scaled the scaffolding of the iconic tower.

While up the tower, Atkinson held a rainbow flag which read: ‘No pride on a dead planet’.

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First picture of protester who climbed Big Ben while wearing leotard and Boris Johnson wig
Benjamin Atkinson climbed Big Ben in October last year
(Image: Metropolitan Police)

He also gave a live interview to Sky News and claimed Prime Minister was not doing his job properly.

Atkinson had intended to do a live radio broadcast whilst up on the tower, although specialist police units from the protest removal team negotiated his removal.

On coming down from the tower, Atkinson was arrested and then later charged with trespass on a protected site contrary to section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.

He was convicted on Wednesday (November 25) and sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay fines of £865.

PC Samantha Lloyd, who led the investigation, said: “This was a dangerous and reckless act which could have ended very differently both for the individual but also for the officers who responded to the trespass call.

“They are specially trained for situations such as this and it was their skills that brought the safe end to this incident, I would like to thank them for their work in bring him down.

“Trespass is a serious offence and Atkinson will now pay the price of his actions, with a significant fine and unpaid work.”

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