Sunak: Police have 'absolute backing' to crack down as Suella Braverman calls meeting to discuss Palestine march ban

Sunak: Police have 'absolute backing' to crack down as Suella Braverman calls meeting to discuss Palestine march ban
GBN Videos

By GBN Videos

Published: 06/11/2023

- 12:21

Updated: 06/11/2023

- 12:48

Home Secretary Suella Braverman will convene a meeting of police leads.

Police have the Government’s “absolute and total backing” to tackle criminality, the Prime Minister has said, amid objections to a pro-Palestinian march due to take place on Armistice Day.

Concerns have been raised about the demonstration due to take place in central London on Saturday, although the planned route will not go past the Cenotaph, instead going from Hyde Park to the American Embassy.

Speaking to GB News, the Prime Minister said: “Remembrance Day is a time for national reflection. It is a time when I know the whole country will come together to pay tribute to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe.

“I want to make sure police have our absolute and total backing to clamp down on any acts of criminality, but also to ensure public order.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman is holding a meeting to discuss the issue on Monday.

The Metropolitan Police has said it would use “all powers and tactics” at its disposal to prevent disruption, including Section 13 of the Public Order Act 1986, which allows the banning of a procession when there is a risk of serious disorder.

Met Commander Karen Findlay said: “We fully appreciate the national significance of Armistice Day. Thousands of officers will be deployed in an extensive security operation and we will use all powers and tactics at our disposal to ensure that anyone intent on disrupting it will not succeed.”

The Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, which is usually attended by members of the royal family, will take place on Saturday, with a two-minute silence observed at 11am.

Remembrance Sunday events will take place at the Cenotaph in Westminster the following day.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, organisers of the planned demonstration, has pledged to avoid the Whitehall area where the Cenotaph is located.

The planned route will take them from Hyde Park – about a mile from the Cenotaph – to the US embassy in Vauxhall, south of the Thames.

It is for the Met to prove the threshold for a Section 13 has been met before seeking approval from the Home Secretary to sign off on a ban.

It is unlikely there would be any resistance to agreeing a ban from Suella Braverman, who has previously labelled the pro-Palestine demonstrations “hate marches”, highlighting how some participants had chanted “jihad” and were “calling for the erasure of Israel”.

The Cabinet minister said last week that there is “an obvious risk of serious public disorder, violence and damage, as well as giving offence to millions of decent British people” if protests go ahead on Armistice Day.

In a statement, the protest organisers said: “We have made clear that we have no intention of marching on or near Whitehall, in order not to disrupt events at the Cenotaph.”

They added that “we are alarmed by members of the Government, including the Prime Minster, issuing statements suggesting that the march is a direct threat to the Cenotaph and designed to disrupt the Remembrance Day commemorations”.

Four police officers were attacked with fireworks during Saturday’s pro-Palestine protest after thousands of demonstrators gathered in Trafalgar Square.

Protesters climbed on the square’s famous fountains as the mostly peaceful group waved flags and banners. There were six arrests.

Ms Findlay said the Met would be “sharper” in its response at future protests.

She said: “We will take action on any placards being carried at protests which are inflammatory and incite racial hatred, or purport to be supporting a proscribed organisation.

“These are offences and any such banners or material will be assessed by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.

“As in recent weeks, we have been speaking to the organisers of the pro-Palestine march to discuss yesterday’s demonstrations. We will continue to speak to them across this week as part of our ongoing planning for the weekend’s Remembrance events and will monitor and review all information available to us.”

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