Moment policewoman sticks her tongue out at Christian she told was not allowed to sing hymns outside church

Monday 29 January 2024

A Metropolitan Police officer has enraged free speech advocates after telling a woman she was not allowed to sing outside a church - and poking her tongue out.Harmonie London, a Christian singer and songwriter who regularly plays piano and sings on London's streets, was performing outside the John Lewis store on Oxford Street.

She was approached by the volunteer policewoman who said he was "not allowed to sing church songs outside of church grounds".

Ms London protests her innocence, shouting in reply: "You are! You are! You are!" before quoting Article 9 of the Human Rights Act 1998 that protects freedom of thought and public displays of belief or religion.

The policewoman provocatively poked her tongue out at Ms London.

Harmonie London is a Christian singer and songwriter who regularly plays piano and sings on London's streets.

The policewoman remains unmoved and walks off before provocatively poking her tongue out at Ms London's camera.

TalkTV's Julia Hartley-Brewer said: "The police officer wouldn't have gone up to someone from any other religious belief.

"This is embarrassing. It's bad enough for police officers to be taking the knee and wearing rainbow flags. Just do your job!

"You need to know the law. We had this during lockdown where police officers said 'you can't do this, you can't do that'."

Clair Pearsall, a former adviser to the Home Office, said the officer's conduct exposes the issues with volunteers working on behalf of the police.

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"This is a problem. These officers get a couple of days worth of training and they are let out on the streets without knowing what the actual law is," she said.

A police spokesperson said officers were "working to understand the context in which comments are made," adding it would respond "as soon as we can".

Norman Brennan, a former police officer and anti-crime campaigner, tweeted: "Folks, this is not a good look. Some of us are trying hard to help policing get back public lost support respect and confidence and this does not help."