A WITHAM councillor has said "drastic measures" from environmental protesters are necessary after doubling down on her "disdain" for the tabloid press.

Councillor for Witham South, Chelsey Jay, jumped to defend Extinction Rebellion protesters this week after they used vehicles and bamboo blockades outside the Newsprinters printing works at Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, and Knowsley, near Liverpool, on Friday night.

The councillor appeared on BBC Essex Radio to defend the protesters in a interview where she condemned tabloid newspapers for their biased agenda against the Extinction Rebellion movement.

Now the councillor has backed up her comments after communicating with The Times.

The Witham councillor has said she supports the environmental movement and has defended their "extreme" methods.

She said: "I fully support the Extinction Rebellion campaign as I believe what they are fighting for is one of the most important causes to be fought, the saving of our planet that we all share.

"People feel their method at the weekend was extreme, but drastic times, need drastic measures, as Sir David Attenborough has stated, we have hit a time of crisis to act.

"The world has known we have been in real trouble for over 30 years and it hasn't been given the priority politically that it should, campaign groups are growing desperate.

"Unlike the Dover immigration protest that also happened at the weekend, where thugs attacked two police officers simply doing their job to protect us, XR protests have had no incidents of violence since the start of their campaigning in 2018."

Councillor Jay also doubled down on her opposition to tabloid media.

She added: "I have publicly stated many times my disdain for the tabloid press and am over the moon it was disrupted.

"Free press is an empty sentiment when 80 per cent of our newspapers are owned by five billionaire white men who all have an agenda to stay rich and powerful by keeping the public distracted by a constant stream of fear mongering and hate pushing.

"It's nothing new that mainstream press always have a rhetoric that aims to steer public opinion to attack and target particular groups whether that be people on benefits, ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, it is truly dangerous as it shapes and moulds opinions and behaviour in our society.

"The public deserve a true free press, where they have the choice to form their own opinion on fact based, non-politically aligned, non-biased reporting, that's only agenda is to inform, not to manipulate, as the current system does with its untrustworthy and disreputable tirade of vilification."