Daisy Cooper, Liberal Democrat MP for St Albans, has said she "was utterly appalled" at Hertfordshire police's treatment of journalists covering the recent Just Stop Oil protests.

Two members of the press, who were not taking part in the protests, were arrested while standing on a public footbridge nearby and held in custody for around 13 hours.

Just Stop Oil activists have been climbing gantries on the M25, causing heavy traffic and lengthy delays.

One of them, Louise Harris, is from St Albans and has now been charged with causing a public nuisance and remanded into custody.

Just Stop Oil is demanding that the UK government "makes a statement that it will immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK".

Ms Cooper called on home secretary Suella Braverman to be summoned to the House of Commons to explain and apologise for the treatment of journalists covering protests.

Speaking in the Commons, Ms Cooper said: “I was utterly appalled to see LBC journalist Charlotte Lynch being arrested by Hertfordshire police yesterday whilst covering the Just Stop Oil protests on the M25 in my constituency whilst other journalists were also detained covering separate similar protests in Hertfordshire.

“I have written to Hertfordshire police today and they have now put out a statement.

"They’ve said they’ve requested an independent force to examine their approach to identify some learnings and they’ve taken some additional measures. In other words ‘nothing to see here’.

“We are not an authoritarian state. The ability of journalists to do their job unhindered is a vital part of our democracy.

“So given the severity of these incidents and the fact that Parliament is going into recess tomorrow, could you please give me some advice, Mr Deputy Speaker, as to how the House may be able to summon the Home Secretary to this place for her to give a statement offering an explanation, an apology and a reassurance that this will never happen again?”

Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans said he had not received any indication from Ms Braverman that she intended to make a statement to the Commons.

However, Ms Braverman has spoken to journalists - and she described Just Stop Oil protesters as “extremists”.

Ms Braverman said:“There are many thousands of police days – not just within the Met but also from other forces because we’re adding resources from forces outside those which are directly affected – thousands of police days and hours which are being diverted away from, you know, combating rape and homicide and burglary, diverted to dealing with these extremists.”

She said she has concerns about how forces are interpreting laws around how much disruption protests cause.

“I’ve got some concerns about the interpretation of serious disruption and when that threshold is hit, and also the cumulative impact.

“So when we see a daily reset do you assess it cumulatively over a 10-day period or week or do you say, well I’m just measuring it in a 24 hour period?

“I think police forces and chiefs would welcome clarity on the law and what their powers actually are.”