Enough Is Enough: Nick Ferrari's message to protesters outside LBC
7 February 2020, 08:56 | Updated: 7 February 2020, 12:14
Nick Ferrari told the demonstrators protesting against his Enough Is Enough campaign that he fully defends their right to protest, but they should not be allowed to disrupt the lives of the public to do so.
Nick Ferrari launching his campaign this week to give police greater powers when dealing with protests which cause serious public disorder.
The XR protests cost the Metropolitan Police more than £40million, which included overtime for officers and mutual aid to move police across the country to support their efforts in London. That money could have funded the Met's Violent Crime Taskforce for almost three years.
Nick called for the Public Order Act to be amended to give the police power to ban any protest which will cause serious public disorder.
A small group of demonstrators arrived at LBC to protest against the campaign, which has received cross-party support.
Speaking directly to them, Nick said: "I started a campaign in which I said peaceful protest must be allowed. It is part of living in this country.
"Do you honestly think that Lord Stevens, a former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Dame Cressida Dick, the current Commissioner, Lord Blunkett who was Home Secretary and Sir Iain Duncan Smith - do you honestly think they would support this campaign if I was trying to stop peaceful protest?
"To those standing outside LBC, I am with you.
"You want to keep protests peaceful. So do I. We must have protests.
"But people also have a human right to get to work or actually to live in their city."
The protesters sent this statement to Nick Ferrari: "This week, Mr Ferrari launched a campaign to give more powers to the police in controlling peaceful protest groups, such as Extinction Rebellion if they cause any disruption, a campaign which has been backed by Iain Duncan Smith.
"The right to peaceful protest is a cornerstone of British democracy. If it is depressed, then a society cannot claim to be a democracy.
"Peaceful does not mean quiet, nor does it have to be at Mr Ferrari's convenience.
"The organisers of this protest are not members of Extinction Rebellion, but citizens concerned at where this may lead.
"For example, the Waspi women denied their pension rights disrupted the media village set up on College Green in the summer, black cab drivers brought London to a standstill with their weekly blockage of Parliament Square in 2019.
"Who decides what is disruption and what is protest? Where does it end?
"The suffragist movement helped to achieve the right for women to vote by protesting. Freedom to protest peacefully must be protected."
Responding to that statement, Nick said: "I wholly and utterly agree with you. Absolutely we must have that. I've stressed that from day one.
"But we do have to balance the rights of people who do have to get to work and live their lives."