King Charles Coronation: Republic protesters arrested by police
Protesters who tried to wreck the King’s Coronation should emigrate to Europe, Lee Anderson declared last night.
The Conservative Party deputy chairman condemned “wet wipes” who refuse to “be proud of our fantastic country”.
His comments came after hundreds of anti-monarchy activists gathered in central London on Saturday, chanting slogans including “down with the Crown” and “get a real job”.
Dozens of demonstrators were arrested for public order offences.
Mr Anderson told the Daily Express last night: “Despite the Left-wing chatter that no one supports our great monarchy any more, thousands of well-wishers lined the Mall and gathered around the TV to witness the crowning of our new King and Queen.
“So I say to that small group of wet wipes who won’t sing the national anthem, who won’t hold their heads up high and be proud of our fantastic country, and who think living under King Charles is a world-ending dealbreaker, you are very welcome to take you and your pals to the EU Republic where you can live under another unelected head of state: Queen Ursula [a reference to European Commission president Ursula von de Leyen].”
The Met Police arrested 52 protesters for affray, public order offences, breach of the peace and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. Some wore “Not My King” T-shirts.
The Met said it had confiscated “lock-on devices” that protesters can use to secure themselves to things like railings.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I’ve sought urgent clarity from Met leaders on the action taken.”
But Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer denied claims that police went too far.
She told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme: “What they have to do is balance the right to protest, which is important in a democracy. At the same time there’s the right of all those other people to enjoy what was a fabulous day.
“I think, overall, they managed to get that balance right.”
Parts of the Public Order Act, which recently came into force, mean 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.
Asked whether she trusts the police to use the new laws, Ms Frazer said: “Yes, I do trust them to use those new powers. I have huge confidence in the police.”
However, Graham Smith, head of anti-monarchy group Republic, one of those who was arrested, said police “clearly made up their mind they were going to arrest us the moment we got there”.
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