Pro-Palestinian march planned for Armistice Weekend 'must go ahead', Winston Churchill's grandson tells LBC

7 November 2023, 19:57 | Updated: 8 November 2023, 08:39

Grandson of Winston Churchill, Lord Nicholas Soames, speaks to Andrew Marr
Grandson of Winston Churchill, Lord Nicholas Soames, speaks to Andrew Marr. Picture: LBC/Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A pro-Palestinian march planned for Armistice Weekend "must go ahead", Winston Churchill's grandson and former armed forces minister Lord Nicholas Soames has told LBC.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Speaking as the Metropolitan Police confirmed the march on Saturday would be allowed to go ahead as the "evidence threshold" to ban it had not yet been met, Lord Soames told LBC "a lot of people died during the war to assert freedom".

"And because you may not agree or disagree with their views and because it is very contentious and very difficult, it's going to put tremendous strain on the police, I think it must be allowed to go ahead," he told LBC's Andrew Marr.

"It's nowhere near the Cenotaph. It's in the afternoon and most of these people, 90% of those people are not there to make trouble.

"They're there to express a deeply held view. And I think it must be allowed to go ahead and I think it would be a great mistake to play politics with it."

Lord Soames tells Andrew Marr: 'Palestine protest must go ahead.'

Asked whether he agrees with the Home Secretary’s remarks that some pro-Palestinian marches are ‘hate marches’, the former armed forces minister replied: "They are not hate marches.

"There are some people who attach themselves, as you know, to every demonstration and that is my one fear about Saturday - but the police will handle that.

"The previous demonstrations have been pretty good really. I mean, there's been a few arrests and but for the scale of people.

"I think they are not hate marches and why would you say such a thing? I don't get it... It is polarising and we live in a country which needs all the none polarisation it can get."

Read More: 'Suella Braverman succeeded - she's caused hate', claims caller after Home Secretary criticises pro-Palestine marches

Read More: Pro-Palestine protest planned for Armistice Day can go ahead, Met chief confirms, as ban threshold 'not yet reached'

It comes amid mounting pressure on the Met to cancel the march, including from the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

Mr Sunak labelled plans for an Armistice Day protest as "provocative and disrespectful" and said there was a “clear and present risk that the Cenotaph and other war memorials could be desecrated".

Meanwhile, the Home Secretary Suella Braverman called it "entirely unacceptable to desecrate Armistice Day with a hate march through London".

Sir Mark said: "If over the next few days the intelligence evolves further and we get to such a high threshold - it's only been done once in a decade - where we need to say to the home secretary we need to ban the march element, then of course we will do."

"But that's a last resort we haven't reached," he told the BBC.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Hamas has claimed Israel is refusing to take back the bodies of the Bibas family

Hamas releases propaganda video of father of 10-month-old Kfir Bibas saying Israel is refusing to take his family's bodies

Police clashed with Legia Warsaw fans

Three officers injured as Polish football fans unleash 'planned and systematic violence' on police ahead of Aston Villa game

William and Kate dazzled on the red carpet as they brushed off Scobie's claims

William and Kate all smiles on red carpet as royals brush aside storm around Omid Scobie's book Endgame

Opec sign

Saudi Arabia extends cut in oil it sends to world in bid to boost prices

An 18-month row over pay, job security and conditions has come to an end, for now

'Provoke us again and we will respond in kind': Mick Lynch issues new threat to government after pay deal halts strikes

Matt Hancock appeared at the Covid inquiry on Thursday

Cummings a 'malign actor' and 'missed opportunities': 11 revelations from Matt Hancock's Covid inquiry appearance

Phillip Hancock

Man executed in Oklahoma over double killing in 2001

Milei has backed his country's claim to the Falklands

Britain 'stands firmly' with Falkland Islands as minister pays visit in fresh warning to Argentina's eccentric president

Matt Hancock gave evidence on Thursday.

Matt Hancock insists he is 'no liar' as he blames 'toxic culture' in No10 for Covid failings

Palestinians line up for food in Rafah, Gaza Strip

Tough talks ahead as Gaza ceasefire holds with more hostages freed

Caolan Gormley was convicted of an offence linked to the deaths of the 39 Vietnamese migrants

Last people smuggler in operation linked to deaths of 39 migrants in Essex lorry jailed for seven years

Mia Schem was released today, with her mother Keren filmed reacting in joy

Baying mob screams at two female hostages released by Hamas, as young captive's mother sobs in joy

Jamie Lynn Spears exited the I'm A Celebrity jungle on medical grounds

Jamie Lynn Spears speaks out after I'm A Celebrity exit after departing jungle on 'medical grounds'

Donald Trump

Gag order barring Trump from maligning court staff in fraud trial reinstated

The caller is heard saying, “I don't think there's anything you can do for her, I really don't think there is."

'Blood on her legs and back': Desperate 999 call made by dog walker who found Brianna Ghey’s body after stabbing

Rescuers work at the scene of a building damaged by shelling in Pokrovsk, Ukraine, on Thursday

Russian missile strikes in Ukraine bury families in rubble