Police could get tougher powers after 'unprecedented' violence on Armistice Day as pro-Palestinian and counter protesters clash with police

Monday 13 November 2023

Police could get tougher powers after London witnessed "unprecedented" levels of violence on Armistice Day.

Rishi Sunak is planning to strengthen the police’s hand to deal with protests after the clashes which some have blamed on Suella Braverman.

Police estimate 300,000 people attended the main pro-Palestinian protest and counter protests. Some 145 people were arrested and seven people have been charged.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, who led the Metropolitan Police’s operation on Saturday, blamed "right wing" groups for the bulk of the disorder.

“What came as a surprise was the intent of the people who were coming," he said. "Particularly with that right-wing group, violence at 10 in the morning is unprecedented.”

“You can imagine in a street with that number of people, trying to spot individual acts of behaviour is almost impossible.”

Police estimate 300,000 people attended the main pro-Palestinian protest and counter protests

Mr Sunak is looking to tighten the laws to make it easier to ban marches and prosecute those glorifying terrorism, according to several newspapers.

He looks set to press Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to avoid a repeat of Saturday’s chaos when he meets the police chief in the coming days.

He has said “thugs” and “those singing antisemitic chants and brandishing pro-Hamas signs and clothing” must face “the full and swift force of the law”.

Government minister Michael Gove MP, who describes himself as a "proud Zionist and Friend of Israel," was mobbed by pro-Palestinian demonstrators at Victoria station.

Some 145 people were arrested and seven people have been charged.

Flanked by a large police contingent trying to keep dozens of demonstrators away, he was escorted through the station perused by a shouting group of protesters.

London witnessed "unprecedented" levels of violence on Armistice Day

He later said: “I’m very grateful for so many kind messages in the last 24 hours. I’d like to thank the police for their exemplary work getting me home safely yesterday.”

Suella Braverman condemned “sick, inflammatory and, in some cases, clearly criminal” chants and placards at the protest and warned London’s streets are “being polluted by hate, violence and antisemitism”.

Mr Sunak is looking to tighten the laws to make it easier to ban marches

The Home Secretary’s political future hangs in the balance after she was accused of stoking tensions ahead of the protests with pressure mounting on the Prime Minister to sack her.

There are speculations he could carry out a ministerial reshuffle this week which could see Ms Braverman's moved.

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