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Priti Patel: far-right protests sparked "ugly scenes"

15 June 2020


Home Secretary, Priti Patel made a statement to the Commons on public order following the recent far-right protests.

Responding to the far-right protests in the UK over the weekend, the Home Secretary praised the police and condemned the "far-right thugs" who were violent, racist and attacked police officers.

Priti Patel: "It is right that a good number have been arrested"

Home Secretary, Priti Patel made a statement on public order in regards to the recent protests.

The Home Secretary said she was "saddened and sickened" by the far-right "thugs" who came to London over the weekend on a "so-called 'mission' to protect the statue of Sir Winston Churchill".

She said:

"There is no place for their sickening conduct and hate in our society.

"They were violent, they were aggressive and abusive towards police officers.

They were patently racist.

It is right that a good number have been arrested."

She went on to give the house the latest operational update from the police.

In total over 210,000 people have attended demonstrations around the country following the death of George Floyd.

At least 160 protests took place this weekend, with the vast majority passing peacefully.

Counter demonstrations sparked "ugly scenes" with "irruptions of violence throughout the day". This includes fights, smoke bombs, glass being thrown at police, as well as officers being "kicked, punched or pelted with missiles"

On Saturday alone, the far-right demonstrations lead to 137 arrests for offensives including violent disorder, possession of Class A drugs and offensive possessions, and more.

There have been at least 100 injured officers as a result of this behaviour, as well as 3 police horses and a police dog.

Now, at least 280 arrests have been made.

Priti Patel says that she pledges to "back our police".

Accounts from those police officers who were attacked have "strengthened" Priti's resolve to "step up the support for our police."

 She concluded by saying

"To protect us all, and to stop the spread of this deadly disease [coronavirus] any large gatherings of people remain unlawful.

This severe public health risk forces me again to continue to urge the public not to attend future gatherings or protests".  

Nick Thomas-Symonds: Black Lives Matter protest have "bought attention to the impact racism and inequality "

Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds responded to the statement on behalf of the opposition.

He told the House he was "appalled by the scenes we saw here in London this weekend":

"In these terrible scenes we were reminded once again of the bravery, dedication and professionalism of our frontline police officers and we owe them a debt of gratitude again."

He said "the Prime Minister should also be clear that we will not allow him to move the focus from the action to address the discrimination people face now."

"There should be no attempt to draw comparisons between those intending on violence this weekend and the legitimate cause of the Black Lives Matter campaigners, who have bought attention to the impact racism and inequality continue to have here in the UK and across the world.", the Shadow Home Secretary said.

He concluded:

"The Prime Minister could act now.

He could implement all the recommendations of the Lammy review that have been sat there since September 2017.

He could bring forward actions on the Wendy Williams lessons learned review now.

He could address the fact that just 60 people have been compensated so far in the first year of the Windrush compensation scheme.

"More delay is not the answer."

Image: Parliamentary Copyright

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