"Ban them" Met Police Federation chief demands demonstrations stop during pandemic

14 June 2020, 10:44 | Updated: 14 June 2020, 10:46

By Seán Hickey

The boss of the Met Police Federation told LBC that protests must be banned and for politicians to work together to enforce this.

In the wake of clashes between anti-racism protesters, protesters protecting statues and police across the country on Saturday, questions were raised over the motivations of some protesters and how they can be enforced in the future.

Ken Marsh is the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation and he was sharing his reaction to demonstrations with Andrew Castle when he shared the view that all protests should be banned.

Andrew wanted to know if the easiest thing for police would be for the government to ban public gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Marsh agreed wholeheartedly.

"Absolutely, 100%. We're in the middle of a pandemic still and I've said this to you before; my colleagues don't have any choice about being there." He stated.

"We are in the middle of a pandemic, it is unlawful what is taking place under the Covid legislation – ban them." He went on. Andrew wanted to know who the Police Federation chief saw as the person to begin the ban and he criticised politicians who were passing the buck. He referenced the Home Secretary blaming the Mayor of London, and vice versa and angrily called for them to "get a grip, just sort it out."

Ken Marsh thought that the government must do more to ban public gatherings during lockdown
Ken Marsh thought that the government must do more to ban public gatherings during lockdown. Picture: PA

Andrew wanted to know what Mr Marsh's "assessment and reaction to what happened yesterday" was.

He told Andrew that he was "absolutely appalled" by what happened yesterday and insisted that "this is not just a reaction to something, this was two groups of people who came together with the intention of causing each other very serious harm."

The chair of the Met Police Federation suggested that on the weekends the police may not have a choice but to close places such as Trafalgar Square or Parliament Square, in a message to the perpetrators that "we're not having this anymore."

"We don't want to be there, we certainly don't want to fight anyone" Mr Marsh told listeners and added that police "always show as much restraint as we can" given the situations.

Andrew wondered if the police should be more heavy handed in their enforcement of the law but Mr Marsh told him that "we try to police in the fairest way" and that "pockets of people with the only intention but to cause serious serious harm to each other" should not reflect any change in how the Met police society.

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