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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

'Do your job' Tory MPs rage at police for standing by as protesters desecrate war memorial

News'Do your job' Tory MPs rage at police for standing by as protesters desecrate war memorial

James Cleverly has admitted that he took last night’s latest outrage by pro-Palestinain protesters personally after they climbed on his old regiment’s war memorial in London.

The new Home Secretary, who previously served in the Royal Artillery, has said he will look at changing the law if necessary after the Metropolitan Police claimed last night that the protesters were doing nothing illegal.

Anti-Israel protesters were filmed climbing the royal Artillery war memorial in the centre of London waving a Palestinian flag while police stood by and watched in what has been seen as the latest example of the Met being soft on extremist protesters supporting Gaza.

Speaking on LBC this moring, Mr Cleverly said: “We’re going to look at this.

“We are absolutely determined to look at this. (Veterans minister) Johnny Mercer, a former gunner officer – the Royal Artillery was my regiment as well, that’s my regimental memorial.”

The Home Secretary added: “I’m not going to let my personal feelings cloud my judgment on this but it is clearly wrong, and the police have said that they recognise it is deeply disrespectful for people to climb on war memorials.

“We have made a commitment to review the legislation around public order policing.

“If the police – and I’m going to look at this in real detail – if the police need more powers to make sure that really deeply distasteful, provocative things like that do not happen for the public good, because of course this is about making sure it doesn’t stimulate violent action or any kind of violent responses, but if we need to take action specifically to give police more powers, we are looking at doing that.”

But a row is already breaking out over Met claims that the law did not allow them to intervene last night.

Stoke North MP Jonathan Gullis pointed out that changes to the law brought by adopting a private members bill he and fellow Tory MP James Sundeland, an ex-colonel, had introcuced meant the police could intervene.

In its statement the Met said: “It’s deeply disrespectful to climb on a war memorial, but there’s no law making it illegal. In the absence of a law officers cannot automatically arrest, but they can intervene and make it clear the behaviour isn’t acceptable. That’s what they are seen doing here in this video.”

But Mr Gullis responded: “Yes there is! Check the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Act 2022 (Section 50). The powers are there to make arrests for desecrating war memorials to our glorious dead.

“My friend, James Sunderland and I got the Government to adopt it into law after we introduced the Desecration of War Memorials Bill.

“Stop making excuses and do your job!”

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