Ian Payne 4am - 7am
Thousands Of Bikers Descend On London In Protest Over Bloody Sunday Prosecutions
12 April 2019, 12:06 | Updated: 12 April 2019, 15:59
Parts of London and the M25 are expected to grind to a halt on Friday as thousands of bikers protest against the prosecution of a former British soldier charged over Bloody Sunday.
Up to 7,000 bikers are expected to take to the streets of London as part of a huge rally organised by armed forces veterans.
The demonstration will see riders come from across the country to Westminster in protest.
One of those taking part took, Fred Staszewski, wrote on Facebook: "There are groups of riders coming from the 4 corners of the country and it is estimated that 7,000 bikes will be in attendance."
As the protest got underway, the Metropolitan Police tweeted: "Due to the huge number of bikers attending the rally, they are strung out along the route, show some legendary London hospitality and make allowances, this goes for all the demos today."
Update; Rolling Thunder; due to the huge number of bikers attending the rally, they are strung out along the route, show some legendary London hospitality and make allowances, this goes for all the demos today.— MPS Events (@MetPoliceEvents) April 12, 2019
Organiser, Christopher Davies, commented: "A possible 7,000 motorbikes will be converging on London mostly ridden by veterans although anyone is welcome on the ride."
Last month Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service said there was sufficient evidence to prosecute Soldier F over the Bloody Sunday incident when troops from 1 Para fired at demonstrators in the Bogside area of Londonderry.
Prosecutors said Solider F will face charges for the murders of James Wray and William McKinney and the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O'Donnell.
A Government spokesperson said: "We are indebted to the soldiers who served with courage and distinction to bring peace to Northern Ireland.
"Although the decision to prosecute was taken by the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service, which is independent from Government, we will offer full legal and pastoral support to the individual affected."