A LAKE District-based Extinction Rebellion activist who climbed Big Ben dressed as Boris Johnson has been told to pay nearly £1,000.

Benjamin Atkinson, from Ambleside, scaled scaffolding the Queen Elizabeth Tower wearing a costume and blonde wig mimicking the prime minister as part of widescale protesting by the group.

The 44-year-old was up on the scaffolding for a number of hours while specialist police units from the protest removal team negotiated his removal.

His plan was to do a live radio broadcast whilst up on the tower, while wearing fancy dress.

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.

Atkinson, a tree surgeon, was convicted on Wednesday.

He has now been sentenced to 250 hours of unpaid work and will have to pay £775 to the Crown Prosecution Service and £90 to fund victim services.

On October 18 2019 Atkinson had been taking part in a protest outside the Palace of Westminster. He climbed over the fences and scaled the scaffolding of the Queen Elizabeth Tower.

PC Samantha Lloyd, from the Public Order Command and the officer leading 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.”

Atkinson's stunt was part of a series of protests organised in the capitol by Extinction Rebellion.