Violent clash breaks out as 'far-right' groups descend on London for St George’s Day march

23 April 2024, 14:39 | Updated: 23 April 2024, 15:02

Police clash with a group of 'far right' people in London for a St George's Day event
Police clash with a group of 'far right' people in London for a St George's Day event. Picture: Metropolitan Police

By Asher McShane and Fraser Knight

Police have clashed with 'far-right' groups that descended on central London for a St George’s Day event.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Met Police said they had deployed extra officers as “far right groups and groups linked to football clubs” travelled from around the UK to mark St George’s Day near Whitehall.

Scotland Yard said a group, some wearing masks and others draped in the St George's flag, gathered at Richmond Terrace. - the designated area for the St George’s Day celebration.

But more people turned up who tried to make their way up Whitehall towards Trafalgar Square. They tried to force their way through police who pushed back, using horses to control the crowd.

'They didn't do a single thing!': Antisemitism campaigner said Met did not stop abusive man when threatening him with arrest

Read more: Smuggling gangs 'pushing people out to sea' to their deaths, PM says - as French police share photos of flimsy boats

Met Police deal with disorder on Whitehall

One man appeared to hit a police horse in video shared online by Scotland Yard.

Members of the group could be heard chanting “I’m England ‘Till I die, I’m England ‘Till I die” and the controversial football chant “No surrender”.

One person on the march was overheard saying: "We need to take our country and our city back, England has been watered down and we need to remind people we’re a great country. It’s not about who’s here, it’s about how divided we’ve become."

Police form a line to stop members of the group from reaching Trafalgar Square
Police form a line to stop members of the group from reaching Trafalgar Square. Picture: Metropolitan Police

There was a large boo from the crowd as a man on stage said "police are stopping us from going where we want. This is our day and this is two tier policing."

Scotland Yard posted on Twitter: “When officers formed a cordon and asked the group to turn round, they reacted by violently forcing their way through. Mounted officers intervened with horses to restore the cordon.”

One person posted online: "You lot have lost the plot. Jewish people not aloud to walk around London and now anyone who celebrates St. George's day is Far Right. Get a grip.....jeeeeez"

A man dressed as St George riding a horse on Whitehall
A man dressed as St George riding a horse on Whitehall. Picture: Social Media

Police said anyone attending the event must stay within Richmond Terrace, on one side of the road between the office for the secretary of state for Wales, and Richmond House.

Scotland Yard said in a statement: “"The officers’ primary role is to ensure the safety of participants and the public, but they will not hesitate to respond in the event of disorderly behaviour or other offences.

"The groups are gathering in the Waterloo area prior to joining the event in Whitehall. Officers are in the area to respond to any incidents.

"A number of people, have been seen in the area wearing masks. A Section 60AA order, giving officers the power to require the removal of face coverings, is now in force in the boroughs of Lambeth and Westminster. A Section 60 order, giving officers additional search powers, is also in force in the same area to prevent crime and disorder.

"We have been in discussions with the organiser of the Richmond Terrace event over recent days. To prevent disorder and to minimise disruption, we have imposed a number of conditions under the Public Order Act.

"Anyone participating in the event must remain on Richmond Terrace within the area marked in pink on the map below. The event cannot start before 3pm and must finish by 5pm."