Protesters chant ‘not my King’ ahead of Coronation
Lee Anderson erupted at anti-monarchy protesters taking to the streets on the day of the Coronation.
Demonstrators from the Republic group, which campaigns to abolish the Royal Family, wore yellow shirts and carried signs saying “Not My King” as they held a rally in the capital.
A number of the protesters, including Republic’s chief executive Graham Smith, were arrested by police hours before the service at Westminster Abbey kicked off.
Mr Anderson, who is known for being outspoken and is no stranger to controversy, took to Twitter to slam the activists.
The Conservative Party deputy chairman said: “Not My King?
“If you do not wish to live in a country that has a monarchy the solution is not to turn up with your silly boards. The solution is to emigrate.”
Footage on Twitter showed officers using their powers under the new Public Order Act to apprehend protesters from Republic in St Martin’s Lane near Trafalgar Square.
In one video an officer said: “I’m not going to get into a conversation about that, they are under arrest, end of.”
The Metropolitan Police confirmed four people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance on St Martin’s Lane and that lock-on devices were seized.
The force also said they made a number of breaching-the-peace arrests in the area of Carlton House Terrace and a further three arrests in the Wellington Arch area on suspicion of possessing articles to cause criminal damage.
But police have come under criticism for the arrests of protesters.
Campaign group Human Rights Watch described the arrests as “incredibly alarming”, adding: “This is something you would expect to see in Moscow not London.”
Nick Wall, a member of Republic and chairman of the Labour For Republic organisation, addressed crowds at a “Not My King” rally in Cardiff where he called the arrests of protesters in London “disgraceful”.
The Met earlier this week warned they would have an “extremely low threshold” for protests during the Coronation celebrations, and that demonstrators could expect “swift action”.
Under the controversial new Public Order Act, protesters who have an object with the intention of using it to “lock on” are liable to a fine, with those who block roads facing 12 months in prison.
An official letter warning of the new powers was sent to Republic, which said its campaign around the coronation would proceed as planned.
A mammoth policing operation was underway today for the Coronation with 1,500 officers on duty.
Huge crowds lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the King and Queen on their Coronation day.
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