Corbyn to join anti-Trump protesters after snubbing state banquet

3 June 2019, 23:23 | Updated: 4 June 2019, 10:32

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will join thousands of anti-Trump protesters on the streets of central London today, as Scotland Yard's Commissioner warns her officers will take firm action against any protesters who break the law.

Mr Corbyn, who snubbed last night's state dinner at Buckingham Palace, said he wanted to show solidarity with demonstrators and planned to address the protest.

A huge police and security operation is in place for the US President's three-day trip and severe restrictions have been placed on areas where Mr Trump will visit, preventing the public from getting too close.

Last year, almost 10,000 officers were deployed for Mr Trump's trip to the UK, with nearly every force in the country providing staff to support the operation.

This year's state visit is even bigger, as the Metropolitan Police said it had "a very experienced command team" leading the operation.

Wherever the US President goes, there is always a well-rehearsed security plan and US secret service agents have been mingling with their British policing colleagues and members of the public.

But Sky's policing analyst Graham Wettone said the addition of large numbers of protesters makes events much more unpredictable.

"The difficulty is, you've got a huge a security operation, but you don't really know what the protesters and demonstrators are going to do. If they decide to do something that isn't either known about or authorities are aware of, that makes it really complex for the police to respond and react to that," he said.

Protesters are again hoping to fly the Donald Trump blimp, which depicts the American leader as a giant yellow baby.

:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

A 16ft talking robot of Mr Trump sitting on a gold toilet is also expected to make an appearance.

Supporters of Human Rights charity Amnesty will also unfurl five giant banners from Vauxhall Bridge, facing the US embassy, saying "Resist sexism", "Resist racism", "Resist hate", "Resist cruelty" and "Resist Trump".

In Finsbury Park, north London, organisers of today's No To Trump rally said that many people had expressed interest in attending.

Organiser Terina Hine said: "He has torn up the Iran nuclear deal, an international trade treaty, he's threatened war with Iran, he's a threat to world peace, the list is endless.

"The government is currently rolling out the red carpet to Donald Trump and we think that as a racist, misogynist, warmonger, that this should not be the case.

"I think the vast majority of people in the UK don't support Donald Trump's politics. We had thousands of people out there on the streets of London the last time he visited, so hopefully there will be even more on the streets this time round."

Not everyone on the streets of central London is opposed to the Trump visit.

Ed Epstein, a tourist from Seattle, joined several thousand outside Buckingham as the President arrived on Monday.

"I'm here to support the President," he said.

"He is my President and I think the office has to be supported.

"He represents the United States of America. And while I may be dismayed at what he says sometimes and I wish he would stay on script, I still support many of the things that he's doing."

Scotland Yard said officers met organisers of the Together Against Trump protest, who plan to gather in Trafalgar Square this morning.

The force will agree a route with the demonstrators, allowing them part way down Whitehall, but they will be kept well back from the gates to Downing Street when the President's motorcade arrives there.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said that the force would be "firm" with protesters who break the law.

She said: "We take our role really seriously, on the one hand to keep safe the visiting head of state and their entourage and everybody connected with it, and of course our own royal family, and on the other hand in a liberal democracy like ours to ensure that if people wish to protest lawfully they can do so without crime, and do so safely.

"We will be pretty firm if protesters are intending to try to protest in a way which is unlawful, and very, very firm if anybody wants to do anything which might in any way endanger security."