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MPs demand extra security amid fear of attacks at Remembrance Sunday events
November 5, 2023
MPs have said they want extra security at Remembrance events as they fear being harassed or attacked amid tensions over the Israel-Hamas war.
Several MPs have asked parliamentary authorities to provide more protection at wreath-laying events in their constituencies, according to a report.
An MP told The Sun on Sunday “many” Parliamentarians have had threats to their security, adding: “I certainly have. Sadly, I see no alternative. I’ll be having security.
“It’s the one time when people absolutely know where we’re going to be. It’s sad and worrying, but it is what it is.”
The news comes amid concerns about a planned pro-Palestine march which coincides with Armistice Day.
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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Suella Braverman have expressed concern about the prospect of such protests on November 11.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has promised to take a “robust” approach and to use all the powers available to ensure commemorative events are “not undermined”.
Demonstration organisers in London have pledged to avoid the Whitehall area where the focus of national remembrance events, The Cenotaph, is located.
Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden suggested the November 11 march should not go ahead and reminded the police of their duty to ensure public safety.
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Asked if he was sending a signal to the police that the November 11 march should be stopped, Mr Dowden said: “The police are operationally independent.
“But I do have very grave concerns about that march, both in terms of how it sits with acts of solemn remembrance and the kind of intimidation that is being sent out by the chants and everything else that goes on at those marches.”
Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey told Sky News: “In a democracy like ours the right to free speech and protest is fundamental, but there has to be a respect for the Remembrance Service, for all cenotaphs and memorials, for the two minutes’ silence on Saturday, not just the Remembrance Parade on Sunday.
“That must be protected and I hope the police – and it will be an operational decision for them – will be able to work with the protests, the Palestinian protest march organisers, as the indications seem to suggest the march will be at a later time in a different place in London, so that any sort of conflict, which would be utterly unacceptable, doesn’t arise.”
Asked if the Labour Party would be upset if the police decided they did not want the march to go ahead, he said: “If the police decided they didn’t want to go ahead under what is the 1986 legislation it will be for the Home Secretary to take that decision. I hope that won’t be necessary.
“I believe it should be possible to manage both the proper respect and the conduct of the Remembrance Parade around The Cenotaph and allow the protesters concerned about what’s going on in Gaza and the loss of Palestinian lives to undertake their protest at a different time in a different part of London.”