Man arrested after gallows erected by anti-vaxxers outside Parliament

20 October 2021, 19:57

A man has been arrested for a public order offence
A man has been arrested for a public order offence. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

A man has been arrested after a gallows was erected by anti-vaxxers outside Parliament.

MPs today condemned the act, which comes just days after the fatal stabbing of MP Sir David Amess.

The Metropolitan Police said a man was arrested for a public order offence following "the erection of a mock gallows by a group protesting against Covid-19 vaccines".

Conservative Michael Fabricant said a demonstration in Parliament Square had "erected a gallows, a gallows to be used against Members of Parliament".

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Raising a point of order in the House Commons, the MP added: "I'd suggest at the very least, not only is it crass and unthinking but it must also be a breach of public order."

Labour MP Hilary Benn told the Commons he spoke to the police outside.

He said: "If they're protesting against capital punishment in other countries good luck to them, but if they have put those gallows there and that noose directed at us, especially in the events of the last week, it is not only crass - crass is a very gentle description of what they've done - I think it is scandalous.

"I think it's not acceptable. Because it is a threat. And we should be able to carry out our job without being threatened by people out in Parliament Square."

Deputy Speaker Dame Rosie Winterton recognised their concerns and, intervening at a later point, said: "I understand the gallows have been taken down and an arrest has been made under the Public Order Act."

Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove, tweeted a picture of the gallows and wrote: "As I walked into Parliament earlier this little charmer shouted 'this is what we do with traitors' at me, pointing at his gallows and noose.

"Out of the two of us I'm the one who's life and routine must adapt, not his. Our politics really is broken."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Shortly before 4pm on Wednesday, 20 October, officers in Parliament Square arrested a man for a public order offence. He has been taken into police custody.

"It follows the erection of a mock gallows by a group protesting against Covid-19 vaccines."

Home Secretary Priti Patel has previously announced a security review for MPs following the death of Sir David.