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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Met ‘regrets’ arresting anti-monarchy protesters throughout coronation

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The Metropolitan Police mentioned on Monday night time that it “regrets” arresting six anti-monarchy protesters at Saturday’s coronation, hours after Rishi Sunak backed the pressure’s dealing with of the occasion.

The Met made 64 arrests on Saturday and had been criticised by some opposition politicians for allegedly cracking down on reputable protest and stifling free speech.

At 9pm on Monday night time the pressure issued an announcement saying it regretted the arrests of six individuals, together with the chief government of Republic, the anti-monarchy group, below new public order legal guidelines.

The Met additionally confirmed that one member of the group had been working with the pressure’s “protest liaison” unit earlier than the coronation, to make sure that the protest may go forward.

Sunak had earlier backed the safety operation, saying the police have been operationally impartial of presidency and “make these decisions based on what they think is best”.

Protesters on Whitehall through the coronation © by way of REUTERS

“I’m grateful to the police and everyone who played a part in ensuring that this weekend has gone so well, so successfully and so safely,” he mentioned.

The Met mentioned its officers had been briefed to be “extremely vigilant and proactive” in response to safety assessments that the coronation may be significantly disrupted.

Among six individuals arrested at 6.40am on Saturday was Republic chief government Graham Smith, who mentioned he would take authorized motion in opposition to police after no expenses have been introduced in opposition to him.

Smith mentioned a chief inspector and two different officers visited his Reading house on Monday night to situation the apology. He advised PA information company: “They seemed rather embarrassed, to be honest.

“I said, for the record, I won’t accept the apology. We have a lot of questions to answer and we will be taking action.”

Graham Smith, head of Republic
Graham Smith, head of Republic: ‘We have a lot of questions to answer and we will be taking action’ © AP

The Met mentioned a evaluate of the case discovered no proof that the six protesters have been planning to “lock on” — a protesting tactic when individuals glue or lock themselves to things. It is now banned.

The Met mentioned in an announcement: “Those arrested stated the items would be used to secure their placards, and the investigation has been unable to prove intent to use them to lock on and disrupt the event.

“This evening all six have had their bail cancelled and no further action will be taken. We regret that those six people arrested were unable to join the wider group of protesters in Trafalgar Square and elsewhere on the procession route.”

The Met mentioned that a minimum of one of many group had been partaking with the pressure’s Protest Liaison Team earlier than the occasion. “The Protest Liaison Team were not the arresting officers nor were they present in St Martin’s Lane at the time of the arrest,” it added.

The situation is more likely to be taken up by MPs when the House of Commons returns on Tuesday after a brief “coronation recess”.

Source: www.ft.com

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