Under-fire Braverman condemns Armistice Day violence as police charge seven
Suella Braverman has condemned “violence and aggression” from protesters and counter-protesters on Armistice Day as police charged seven people over the disorder.
In her first public comments since Saturday’s ugly scenes in London, the Home Secretary also praised police and said it was an “outrage” a number of officers had been injured.
The Metropolitan Police said seven men have been charged with a variety of offences including assault on an emergency worker, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon.
Officers made 145 arrests during the pro-Palestinian demonstration and counter-protest by far-right groups, the force said.
Mrs Braverman has been under fire for inflaming tensions after she branded pro-Palestinian protesters “hate marchers” and accused the police of bias for letting the rally coinciding with remembrance events go ahead.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is facing intensifying calls to sack her as his Home Secretary.
Writing on social media site X on Sunday, she said: “Our brave police officers deserve the thanks of every decent citizen for their professionalism in the face of violence and aggression from protesters and counter protesters in London yesterday.
“That multiple officers were injured doing their duty is an outrage.”
Nine officers were injured as they prevented a violent crowd reaching the Cenotaph.
Mrs Braverman said “further action” is needed to tackle antisemitism as she zeroed in on placards and chants by some pro-Palestinian protesters.
“The sick, inflammatory and, in some cases, clearly criminal chants, placards and paraphernalia openly on display at the march mark a new low. Antisemitism and other forms of racism together with the valorising of terrorism on such a scale is deeply troubling.
“This can’t go on. Week by week, the streets of London are being polluted by hate, violence, and antisemitism. Members of the public are being mobbed and intimidated. Jewish people in particular feel threatened. Further action is necessary.”
Mr Sunak has said he expects far-right “thugs” and “Hamas sympathisers” to face “the full and swift force of the law”.
The Prime Minister said he will meet Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley in the “coming days” and repeated his threat to hold him “accountable” for allowing the pro-Palestinian march to take place on Armistice Day.
With Mr Sunak under growing pressure to fire Mrs Braverman, senior Cabinet minister Grant Shapps failed to back her survival as Home Secretary for another week, saying “a week’s a long time in politics”.
Hundreds of thousands of people took part in the biggest UK rally since the Israel-Hamas conflict began on October 7.
Police said that while the march did not see the sort of physical violence carried out by far-right groups, they were investigating serious offences relating to antisemitism, and hate crimes were being probed.
The Met Police on Sunday said seven men between the ages of 21 and 75 had been charged, hailing from areas including London, Kent, Norfolk and West Lothian.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, who led the Metropolitan Police’s operation on Saturday, said: “Public order policing doesn’t end when demonstrators go home.
“We have teams of officers who continue to build cases against those in custody and launch investigations into those who come to our attention when images and videos are shared on social media.”
Appeals in relation to eight incidents have been published, with more expected, he said.
The 91 people who were arrested to prevent a breach of the peace in Pimlico as they tried to confront the main pro-Palestinian march have since been released, the Met said.
Meanwhile, Cabinet minister Michael Gove thanked police for getting him “home safely” after he was mobbed by pro-Palestinian demonstrators at London’s Victoria station.
Published: by Radio NewsHub