Protest Measures

Deidre Brock Excerpts
Thursday 8th February 2024

(3 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Tom Tugendhat Portrait Tom Tugendhat
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My hon. Friend makes an extremely important point and if I may, I will build on it in combination with an earlier point. There are many people who served our country in various different ways over two world wars and in conflicts since then, whose memorials are either lost and known only unto God or are many thousands of miles away from their families. Families who have come to share our lives in the United Kingdom may have left behind them the graves of family members who served in those conflicts. I am thinking in particular of the 140,000 or so Muslim servicemen who served and lost their lives in the last two wars, of the many Jewish ex-servicemen who march as well, and of many others from around the world—from Africa, South America and Asia—who served in the pursuit of liberty and the defence of freedom in our country. This is their home now; those memorials remember their relatives and loved ones, and it is absolutely right that, for all communities in this country, we defend those moments of national memorial and the altars to liberty that they represent.

Deidre Brock Portrait Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith) (SNP)
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These measures may impact on those of my constituents who wish to protest outside this place or elsewhere over the border. The Minister says that enforcement actions will be taken by police officers at their discretion. How will the Government ensure that these measures will be applied uniformly, proportionately and appropriately across all of England’s police forces?

Tom Tugendhat Portrait Tom Tugendhat
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These are police powers, so the enforcement or application of them is operationally independent and down to the discretion of officers and chief constables as appropriate. That is how policing traditionally works. We do not have a national police force through which we can order police officers to arrest or not arrest individuals. We allow individual police officers to apply the law according to the guidelines that chief constables set out, and that is exactly what will happen in this circumstance.