Met Police have 'mishandled' pro-Palestine marches in London says Minister

Met Police have 'mishandled' pro-Palestine marches in London says Minister
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 21/04/2024

- 10:00

The police have mishandled pro-Palestinian marches in London and Met Police chief Sir Mark Rowley is to meet with ministers on the issue in the coming days, Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho has said.

In an interview with Camilla Tominey on GB News, Coutinho was asked if the Government has confidence in Sir Mark, following apologies from the force after a man was threatened with arrest for being “openly Jewish”.

She said: “Let me start by saying that I think the Met have made a serious misstep here.

“I think being told, any part of a community, that your simple presence is a provocation to others is completely wrong.

“So I know the Home Secretary has made that clear and ministers will be meeting with Sir Mark in the coming days, but nobody in society should feel that they cannot walk about the streets of London, that they cannot live their normal lives.”

Asked again if the Government had confidence in Sir Mark, she said: “I was the minister for free speech and I think this really is fundamental…that everyone should have equal freedoms. What you can't do is place the needs of one identity over the needs of another. I think that was happening.

“So I think it is really important that we get a grip on this. Like I say I can't speak for the conversations that the Home Secretary is going to have with Sir Mark but I would just remind everyone that the person who's got accountability for London is the Labour London mayor.”

Asked if the Met Police and the commissioner have been mishandling the pro-Palestinian protests, she said: “I completely would say that.

“I think there's been a number of mistakes. It's not an easy thing to police. I would say that it's difficult for policing at the moment, not just in this country but around the world.

“But it's really important that we do grip this because this is about people's fundamental ability to feel like they have equality in this country, and that's why it's so important.”


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