Five police officers injured and 10 arrests made as anti-vaxx mob runs amok across London

3 September 2021, 15:29 | Updated: 3 September 2021, 21:31

By Elizabeth Haigh

Five police officers have been injured in clashes with anti-vaxxers, as they attempted to storm the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in Canary Wharf and the Science Museum.

The Met Police said that 10 people had been arrested in "ugly scenes".

"These ugly scenes are not why police officers come into work," the force said in a tweet.

"This level of violence is totally unacceptable and it will not be tolerated.

"Five officers were injured while policing a protest group in Canary Wharf and at South Kensington.

"Crowds quickly became hostile when they reached a building in Canary Wharf. Officers moved in to prevent those protesting from gaining entry.

"As you can see, officers were faced with shocking scenes of violence. With units being pushed and shoved."

The Met added: "The group then moved to South Kensington where crowds continued to clash with police. Throughout the day, our officers worked hard to de-escalate any conflict.

"Ten people were arrested during the course of this police operation. Those suspects are in police custody."

The group of protestors gathered at Canary Wharf on Friday, attempting to gain access to the building that houses the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The MHRA is the government body responsible for approving the coronavirus vaccines.

They then travelled on the underground to South Kensington, and tried to enter the Science Museum.

During the protest, ex-Coronation Street actor Sean Ward was reportedly arrested.

The Met Police said: "A number of protesters have become violent towards police. Four of our officers have been injured during clashes. This is unacceptable. We remain on scene. Updates to follow."

The group of anti-vax protestors attempted to gain access to the medicines regulator's HQ in Canary Wharf
The group of anti-vax protestors attempted to gain access to the medicines regulator's HQ in Canary Wharf. Picture: Paul Brown

The Met Police confirmed that the group tried to enter the MHRA.

In a tweet they wrote: "We have officers attending a demonstration outside a commercial building on Cabot Square in Canary Wharf. A number of officers are on scene, guarding the entrance to the building."

The protestors are against the coronavirus jab being given to kids. Some attendees spoke to police and the crowd through a megaphone.

Footage on social media shows employees holding the doors of the MHRA headquarters shut from the inside, while groups of protestors attempt to open it.

Protestors have heatedly heckled police, shouting "shame on you".

Members of the mob physically clashed with police, who fought to push the protestors back.

Footage on social media appears to show that several of the attendees did gain access through a revolving door.

They also obstructed traffic by blocking roads outside the MHRA headquarters on South Colonnade.

The MHRA said the incident is being dealt with by police and refused to comment further.

Read more: Prince Harry hits out at anti-vaxxers 'who peddle lies & fear' at GQ awards speech

Protestors were then instructed to proceed from Canary Wharf onto the Tube and head for South Kensington station. Video appeared to show that none of the protestors wore masks despite them being compulsory on TfL.

Protestors reportedly covered their underground train in stickers and shouted at members of the public for wearing masks.

According to reports on social media, police gathered at the entrance to South Kensington station to brace for the arrival of the crowd, which appears to number several hundred.

Dozens of police in riot gear wielding batons greeted the protestors in South Kensington. Metropolitan police tweeted: "The group have moved off and travelled to the area around South Kensington. Public order officers are on scene."

Read more: Joe Rogan tests positive for Covid after suggesting young people don’t need jab

Protestors headed towards the museums in South Kensington, stopping outside the Science museum, which is currently hosting an NHS vaccination centre.

Protestors continued to shout at and heckle police guarding the entrances to the museum.

Meanwhile, reports on social media suggested that people inside the museum were told to leave if possible, and those unable to do so quickly were prevented from leaving while protestors were outside.

The Science Museum tweeted confirming the entrance to the museum was temporarily closed while police attended "an incident nearby".

Actor Sean Ward, who has previously received criticism for advising people not to get vaccinated, was reportedly arrested by police. Mr Ward is an ex-Coronation Street actor.

The Science Museum later confirmed that they would remain closed for the rest of the day.

This latest protest by anti-vaxxers comes weeks after another gathering in which protestors attempted to storm BBC studios in West London in protest of jabs for kids and vaccine passports.

Children aged 12 to 17 get jabbed if they want with no need for parental consent.

Read more: Anti-vaxxers try to storm the BBC in protest over vaccine passports and jabs for children

Those in this age group who are at higher risk of getting ill if they catch Covid - or live with people who have a weak immune system - have already been able to get vaccinated.

The Duke of Sussex yesterday hit out at anti-vaxxers who he said "peddle lies and fear". He blamed "masses of misinformation" for vaccine hesitancy, in a virtual appearance from the US at the GQ Men of the Year awards.