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Police right to arrest protesters trying to spoil the coronation, say Tory MPs | Politics | News

Tory MPs have questioned why the police have taken so long to finally crackdown on protesters trying to ruin events and cause chaos in London. It comes ahead of an Urgent Question in Parliament today where Conservative MPs backed the tactics used by Metropolitan Police officers in clearing the streets of anti-monarchy protesters.

Members of the influential rightwing Common Sense Group of Conservative MPs have come out in support of the police’s handling of the protesters even though the police themselves have expressed “regret” at the arrests.

The chairman of the Common Sense Group Sir John Hayes warned that the protesters epresented a small minority who were determined to spoil a day of national unity.

Sir John said: “These protesters represented a small minority of people who failed to understand the majesty and joy of the coronation and were determined to spoil it for the rest of us.

“The fact they were stopped from doing so is a tribute to proper policing and a prevailing common sense.

“This was a time for togetherness and gentle celebration not a time for narcistic delinquancy and hooliganism.”

The urgent question has been tabled by SNP MP Joanna Cherry who is also a lawyer by profession.

It comes after six anti-monarchy protesters were arrested on Saturday during the coronation celebrations.

The government had brought forward legislation to allow the police to take a tougher stance against protests in a bid to protect the coronation with the eyes of the world watching.

This followed a series of climate change protests bringing infrastruction includng roads and rail to a halt as well as vandalising art work and buildings under the banner of Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil or animal rights groups.

A number of Tory MPs believe that the police have taken too long to start properly tackling protesters bringing London and other cities to a halt.

Dudley North MP Marco Longhi told “I have been critical of the Metropolitan Police in recent years. And for good reason.

“But I speak as I find and the Police’s actions over the weekend were beyond reproach.

“They often have to take risk-based decisions and they won’t always get those right but protecting the processions had to be a key priority given the risk to life and limb, the large number of horses and the overwhelming number of pro-monarchy people in attendance.

“This is in stark contrast to a Police I saw running away from BLM hooligans. So we’ll done to the Met and all forces who joined in to making this such a special weekend for the country.”

However, not all Tory MPs were happy with former Brexit Secretary David Davis speaking out against the arrests.

Mr Davis said: “Nobody should question that this was a difficult time for the Metropolitan Police and a difficult task to achieve. And nobody should question that in the large respect, they carried it out brilliantly and gave us a marvellous occasion this weekend.

“That being said. within one week of the Public Order Bill. Entering the law and in its first serious use, we end up with a head of the Met having to apologise to people who were wrongfully arrested. In the event that, let us say, the Home Affairs select committee reviews this matter and comes back with recommendations as to how we change guidelines or maybe laws – will the home office take it on board?

But politicing minister Chris Philp denied that the Public Order Bill is “defective”.

He said: “I would just caution my Right Honourable friend against asserting these people were wrongfully arrested that is not an assertion that has been validated that is illegal that is a legal threshold.

“And I don’t think it’s been established that that legal threshold has been has been met. I will also in terms of testing this legislation.

“I would also just draw the house’s attention to the fact this was a once in a lifetime event and it took place against an intelligence backdrop, which suggested there were multiple well organised plots to cause very serious disruption, which, if they had proceeded, would have been taken very seriously by this House and been seen around the world.

“So I dont think one can infer that from what happened at the weekend that the recently passed legsilation is defective.”

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