Greenpeace activists have boarded a 23,498-tonne ship transporting VW cars to the UK from Germany. The ship was preparing to dock at Sheerness in Kent when the protesters boarded the ship from a small fleet of kayaks and boats.

Volkswagen, one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, imports tens of thousands of cars to the UK through the port every year.

The group have stated that they will remain on board until VW returns the cars to their port of origin.

Greenpeace has said that 40 of its activists are “attempting to immobilise all the VW diesel cars by removing their keys”.

Janet Barker, a support worker from Powys, Wales, and one of the volunteers taking action, said: “Diesel cars are toxic – so we’re here to block VW imports on behalf of all of the children who are the most acutely affected by the health impacts of diesel fumes.

Kent Police said it had received reports of a protest underway at the Port of Sheerness and officers were at the scene.

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