FUEL protesters targeting Stanlow Oil refinery in Ellesmere Port have appointed a new spokesperson.

Former spokesman Ian Charlesworth was replaced after a row erupted over his public outbursts on the group’s Facebook site.

Members were then left confused after another group with a similar name appeared.

New spokesperson Sarah Bayliss said: “We at Stanlow Fuel Protest and Direct Action and Fuel Protest and Direct Action Nationwide, under a committee led by Kevin Bowker, are the original protest group and are completely separate from the breakaway group of a similar name which is led by Ian Charlesworth.

“At present, we have in excess of 500 members who are committed to working towards a reduction in the cost of fuel to UK consumers.

“We appreciate that wildcat disruptive action will not achieve this aim, and we do not condone any form of violent action or protest.

“We have found it necessary to issue statements reiterating this in order to allay public concerns, due to the alleged involvement of the EDL/For England Party with the unofficial group under Mr Charlesworth.

“Our belief is that with enough constant pressure, the Government will realise it needs to spread the tax burden elsewhere and review its fuel pricing structures in order to reduce costs at the pumps.

“We are currently planning a programme of peaceful demonstrations, informed communications with the Government and petitions, and we value all suggestions and contributions made by our members.”

Stanlow Fuel Group splits: Views page 8