Enough Is Enough: We need to reassess police powers over protest, says Michael Gove
4 February 2020, 09:38
Michael Gove said that the government will have to reassess the powers that police have to stop protests if they are disrupting people's lives.
Yesterday, Nick launched his campaign, in which he is asking for the Public Order Act to be amended to give the police power to ban any protest which will cause serious public disorder.
Last year's Extinction Rebellion protests cost the Metropolitan Police alone more than £40million, while every police force in England sent officers to the capital to help control the demonstrations.
Nick Ferrari says Enough Is Enough.
While speaking to Mr Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster agreed that if protests disrupt the lives of Londoners, then the government will need to reassess the powers the police have.
Speaking to Nick, Mr Gove said: "We have to balance two things. I have to apologise to you, Nick, I'm a bit of a greenie and I do have a lot of sympathy with the Extinction Rebellion protesters' aims. But their tactics, I think, are counterproductive.
"Cressida Dick, who is a great police officer, and the Met need to have all the appropriate tools in order to make sure that people can get to work and the life of London can carry on.
"I've got no problem with legitimate protest and people making their views heard.
"But there comes a point where it does teeter over into disrupting other people's lives in a way that I think it wrong, so in that sense, I think it's appropriate to back the police up."
Nick asked whether Mr Gove supported a review into the powers the police have over protests which cause public disorder and he responded: "I'm always open to making sure that the right balance is struck. I think it's really important that people should have the right to protest and I wouldn't want to be heavy-handed about it.
"But I think it's also right that if you do have a level of disruption that becomes a total pain for people who are simply trying to get to work or to help others, then we will need to reassess exactly where the balance lies."