MPs Call On Police To Act After Angry Protesters Abuse Anna Soubry Outside Parliament
8 January 2019, 07:19 | Updated: 8 January 2019, 07:24
MPs are calling on the police to act after far-right protesters harangued MPs and activists outside Parliament yesterday.
A group of more than 50 MPs have written to Met Commissioner Cressida Dick expressing "serious concerns".
Tory MP Anna Soubry was called a "Nazi" by protesters during live TV interviews, and then followed down the street yesterday.
In the video above, filmed by anti-Brexit campaigner Femi Oluwole, the men are following Ms Soubry shouting "fascist" and "full of lies". She points out there are children present and two police officers across the road.
Commenting on the incidents, Ms Soubry posted: "Apparently MPs & politicians are meant to accept it as part of the democratic process.
"I fail to see why journalists and technicians should be subjected to the same abuse & intimidation as the police stand by and do nothing. They tried to stop me getting into parliament.".
In a letter to Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, the group of MPs wrote: "After months of peaceful and calm protests by groups representing a range of political views on Brexit, an ugly element of individuals with strong far right and extreme right connections, which your officers are well aware of, have increasingly engaged in intimidatory and potentially criminal acts targeting Members of Parliament, journalists, activists and members of the public.
"We understand there are ongoing investigations but there appears to be an ongoing lack of coordination in the response from the police and appropriate authorities including with Westminster borough policing, and despite clear assurances this would be dealt with following incidents before Christmas, there have been a number of further serious and well publicised incidents today.
"The ability to peacefully protest and express views outside Parliament is a cherished part of our democracy - and we want to retain the right for those who have conducted themselves within the law and a peaceful way to continue to do so.
"It is however utterly unacceptable for Members of Parliament, journalists, activists and members of the public to be subject to abuse, intimidation and threatening behaviour and indeed potentially serious offences while they go about their work.
"Many of these concerns have been repeatedly raised both with officers on the ground, and at senior levels with over the past weeks since the situation worsened, as well as with the parliamentary authorities and ministers and so it is obviously concerning to have to write to you formally in this regard."
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "Police received a third-party report of a public order offence on Monday, 7 January, in the area of College Green, SW1.
"Officers are assessing if any crimes have been committed. There has been no arrest at this stage."