Greenpeace activists board ship carrying thousands of Volkswagen diesel cars

Greenpeace activists in kayaks and boats have boarded a ship bringing diesel cars into the UK

Greenpeace activists in kayaks and boats have boarded a ship bringing diesel cars into the UK

In September 2015 VW admitted to U.S. regulators it had there using software installed in as many as 11 million diesel vehicles sold worldwide - the majority of them in Europe.

"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", she said.

The protest saw 40 activists climb Sheerness port's fences, where the ship is bound for, and have gained access to a vehicle park where several thousand VWs are awaiting distribution to suppliers.

The environmental group pulled off the stunt to try and force VW to stop the production of diesel cars within two years and to take their "toxic" cars back to Germany.

The German auto giant imports tens of thousands of vehicles through Sheerness, one of Britain's largest auto ports, every year.

One of the protesters said: "The Government says we need to wait another 23 years for dirty diesels to be banned". We're not leaving until VW takes its toxic cars back to Germany.

Campaigners have also hung a 50 square metre banner on the ship's unloading ramp showing the face of a two-year-old girl, called Sephie, covered by an air pollution mask.

A spokeswoman for Peel Ports, which owns the Port of Sheerness, said, "We can confirm that Greenpeace protesters have illegally entered secure areas of the Port of Sheerness". We can't wait that long.

Police are attempting to dispel the situation, which first came to their attention just before 9 o'clock this morning.

Opposition against diesel vehicles has swelled since 2015 when Volkswagen admitted it had fitted software to diesel models that manipulated emissions tests.

"The diesel vehicles, which are the subject of the protest, meet strict Euro-6 standards", VW said in a statement.

"They are also lifting the bonnets and labelling the engines with messages from 8,000 people, including many vehicle owners, calling on VW to ditch diesel".

We have approached Kent Police for comment.

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