Suella Braverman condemns 'appalling disorder' in 'violent protest' outside asylum seeker hotel

12 February 2023, 07:39

Home Secretary Suella Braverman condemned the 'appalling disorder' in Knowsley on Friday Night
Home Secretary Suella Braverman condemned the 'appalling disorder' in Knowsley on Friday Night. Picture: Getty/Twitter
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has condemned the "appalling disorder" that took place in Knowsley on Friday night, which saw a protest turn ugly outside an asylum seeker hotel.

Ms Braverman said the "alleged behaviour of some asylum seekers" was never an excuse for violence.

"I condemn the appalling disorder in Knowsley last night," she said.

"The alleged behaviour of some asylum seekers is never an excuse for violence and intimidation." She thanked Merseyside Police officers for their efforts to keep people safe.

Fifteen people have been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder after the protest outside a hotel believed to house asylum seekers on Merseyside "turned into a riot".

Following a demonstration by "far right protesters", and a counter-protest by those opposing their message, chaos broke out outside the Knowsley Suites Hotel, where police arrived with riot gear.

Thirteen men and two women, aged between 13 and 54, have been arrested.

In the mayhem, a police van was set alight by protestors, as violence erupted.

Shocking videos shared posted on social media showed the destruction taking place on the streets outside the hotel, as further officers arrived on the scene.

The hotel has been used to accommodate asylum seekers since January 2022, according to Knowsley council.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The scenes outside the hotel and violence toward police officers last night by a group of people in Merseyside were totally unacceptable.

“We are working closely with Merseyside Police and partners on the ground to ensure the safety of those in our care and the wider community.”

There were violent scenes outside the hotel after an originally peaceful protest
There were violent scenes outside the hotel after an originally peaceful protest. Picture: PA

Merseyside Police said cops were called to the area where an "initially peaceful protest" and counter protest was being held prior to the start of the violence.

Read more: Nicola Bulley's partner says family is going through 'unprecedented hell' as he calls for every house to be searched

Read more: Two NHS nurses killed in horror car crash on holiday of a lifetime to Grand Canyon

Members of refugee crisis charity Care4Calais were at the scene and said they were "trapped".

A spokesman for the organisation wrote on Twitter: "We are deeply distressed a far right protest in Knowsley has led to riots.

"We can’t imagine the terror of the people inside the hotel. Far right protestors have set fire to a police van.

"The situation at the hotel in Knowsley where the far right are demonstrating & we are trapped in the car park still seems out of control.

"The police all ran up the road outside the hotel about 20 mins ago, and didn’t come back. Lots of shouting.

"We are tweeting from the hotel that’s the subject of a far right protest in Knowsley, Liverpool. We are trapped in the car park, surrounded by hundreds of far-right protestors who have broken through police cordons.

"Still trapped with counter demonstrators outside the hotel where the far right demo has become violent.

"Police trying to find a way for us to leave safely. People are very frightened: it is shocking to think how refugees in the hotel must be feeling."

Police clashed with protestors
Police clashed with protestors. Picture: Twitter

The chaos has been condemned by politicians, including Liverpool city region mayor Steve Rotherham, who said he would visit the scene of the hotel on Saturday.

"Our area has been a sanctuary for people seeking refuge for centuries," he said.

"The disturbing scenes in Knowsley aren't representative of our area or its people. Hatred is not welcome here.

"I'll be visiting the site with the leader of Knowsley Council today."

Read more: High-altitude object shot down over Alaska, says White House

Read more: Chariots of Fire director Hugh Hudson dies aged 86 after short illness

A Merseyside Police spokesperson said: "We can confirm officers are in Prescot dealing with two groups of protesters this evening, Friday 10 February.

"At around 6.30pm, officers were facilitating an initially peaceful protest and counter protest on Ribblers Lane.

"During the evening, missiles have reportedly been thrown and damage caused to a police vehicle. No injuries have been reported at this time.

"Additional officers are in the area to deal with these incidents.

"We have also implemented a number of road closures on the East Lancs Road and would urge motorists to avoid the area and those in the area to disperse."

Knowsley Labour MP George Howarth added: "Until the police have investigated the matter, it is too soon to jump to conclusions and the effort on the part of some to inflame the situation is emphatically wrong.

"If an offence has been committed, the police should deal with it appropriately through due process.

"In addition, the misinformation about refugees being feather-bedded is untrue and intended to paint a picture that does not at all represent the facts.

"The people of Knowsley are not bigots and are welcoming to people escaping from some of the most dangerous places in the world in search of a place of safety.

"Those demonstrating against refugees at this protest tonight do not represent this community.

"We are not like that and overwhelmingly behave with sympathy and kindness to others regardless of where they come from."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The Prince and Princess of Wales have issued a new image

William and Kate hail 'inspirational' England team as they share photo of Charlotte and Louis watching Euros final

Married school chaplain banned from teaching over illicit relationship with ‘very vulnerable’ student

Married school chaplain banned from teaching over illicit relationship with ‘very vulnerable’ student

'Terrible shot': Trump gunman Thomas Matthew Crooks

Would-be Trump assassin tried to join school shooting club but was rejected for being a ‘comically bad’ shot

England manager Gareth Southgate leaving the team hotel in Berlin, Germany

They're coming home: Forlorn Gareth Southgate and England squad leave Berlin hotel after Euro's heartbreak

Thomas Matthew Crooks pictured in his high school year book from 2022

Thomas Matthew Crooks: Everything we know about the Trump gunman described as a 'bullied loner’

King Charles has sent a private letter to Donald Trump after he was shot in the ear

King Charles sends private message of support to Donald Trump after former president survives assassination attempt

Gareth Southgate after England's defeat against Spain

Gareth Southgate tipped for new honour as his future remains in the balance following Euro's heartbreak

Jay Slater's mother condemns 'vile' conspiracies in statement a month on from teen's disappearance in Tenerife

Jay Slater's mum slams 'vile' conspiracies a month on from teen's disappearance - as new search team land in Tenerife

Tributes have been paid to Shannen Doherty after her death from cancer aged 53

Tributes paid to Beverly Hills 90210 star Shannen Doherty as she dies aged 53 following breast cancer battle

The victims are named as Albert Alfonso, 62, and Paul Longworth, 71 (middle and right)

Pictured: Two men, 62 and 71, whose remains were found in suitcases in Bristol

Ian Cameron, 74, was discovered at his German home on Friday evening

British former head designer at Rolls-Royce, 74, found 'stabbed to death on his doorstep'

Donald Trump's fist bump image has been seen around the world in the aftermath of an attempted assassination.

Trump's behaviour in aftermath of assassination attempt has 'motivated' Republicans, former Ambassador tells LBC

Man charged with double murder after bodies discovered in two suitcases in Bristol - as victims named

Man charged with double murder after bodies discovered in two suitcases in Bristol - as victims named

'I’m supposed to be dead’: Trump breaks silence following assassination bid

'I’m supposed to be dead’: Donald Trump breaks silence following assassination bid

King Charles and Queen Camilla will not visit New Zealand during whistle-stop tour of Australia and Samoa

King Charles and Queen Camilla will not visit New Zealand during whistle-stop tour of Australia and Samoa

Donald Trump was shot at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania yesterday

Gunman behind Donald Trump’s assassination attempt 'had explosives in his car' and used firearm 'purchased by father'