‘Done virtually nothing!’ Ann Widdecombe fumes at police after protests ‘in support of people who killed babies’

‘Done virtually nothing!’ Ann Widdecombe fumes at police after protests ‘in support of people who killed babies’

Ann Widdecombe has hit out at the police

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 16/10/2023

- 18:59

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets across the UK

Former minister Ann Widdecombe has hit out at the police after demonstrations were launched across the UK in support of Palestine.

It comes as tens of thousands of people took to the streets across the UK amid growing international concern over the situation in Israel and Gaza.

Marchers filled the streets of central London on Saturday as thousands also gathered in Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and other parts of the UK.

More than 1,000 officers were deployed by the Metropolitan Police before Saturday’s demonstration in the capital, with police saying in advance that anyone showing support for Hamas may face arrest.

Ann Widdecombe and pro-Palestine protests in London

Ann Widdecombe has hit out at the police over perceived inaction


Speaking on GB News, Widdecombe claimed the police lacked decisiveness in acting upon those said to be showing support for Hamas.

“What is disgraceful is you have a police force who will roll up on doorsteps to check people’s thinking and put people on registers for non-crime hate incidents”, she said.


“Yet, when people are out there demonstrating in favour of people who have attacked babies and old folk and taken innocent hostages, the police do virtually nothing.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman last week urged police chiefs to consider whether that pro-Palestine slogan could amount to an offence, while also suggesting that waving Palestinian flags could in some contexts be seen as illegitimate.

A minute’s silence was observed for those killed in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The Met confirmed that as of 5.30pm, seven people at the demonstration had been arrested for a number of alleged offences including one person on suspicion of causing criminal damage.

Pro-Palestine protestersPro-Palestine protesters have taken to the streets of London PA

“There have been small pockets of disorder; flares, bottles and fireworks have been thrown at police,” the force said in a post on social media.

Widdecombe is not the only former minister to have urged stronger action on pro-Palestinian marches, with Andrew Percy saying the marches risked “deeply distressing” scenes on the streets for British Jews.

He told the House of Commons: “Some people attending pro-Palestinian marches holding up banners in support of terrorists, whether it be hang gliders, whether it be chanting anti-Jewish chants, whether it be supporting the racist BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement or, in the case of a protest in Glasgow, reminding Jews where they were in 1940.

“Jews need no reminder of where they were in 1940. These scenes are deeply distressing to British Jews and many British Jews do not believe the police are going to take action.

“So can I urge the Prime Minister to look at what some of our European partners are doing and looking at taking stronger action against some of these marches.”

Prime Minister Sunak replied: “These acts are appalling and I want to make sure that we provide security, and release and relieve that anxiety for the Jewish community here in the United Kingdom, which is why I took steps very quickly last week to provide that reassurance.

“And I am clear: where people incite racial or religious hatred, or where people’s conduct is threatening, abusive or disorderly or causes distress to others, we expect the police to take action and that those committing those crimes should face the full force of the law.”

Downing Street last week announced that £3 million in extra funding will be given to provide the Jewish community with additional protection, with strengthened security at schools and synagogues.

Sunak has continued to reaffirm British commitment to Israel, saying the country has “every right” to defend itself against Hamas terror.

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