Enough is enough: New law expected on protests after Nick Ferrari campaign

9 December 2020, 22:49

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

In the wake of Nick Ferrari's Enough is Enough campaign it is now reported the Government plans to change laws around protests.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to draw up new laws to curb protests which threaten democracy, including blocking Parliament, newspaper distribution, and judicial hearings.

The Home Secretary is seeking to make it illegal for protesters to obstruct Parliament, the courts, and the distribution of newspapers or broadcast media in a way that prevents them exercising their democratic duties, according to the newspaper.

It comes after Nick Ferrari's Enough is Enough campaign called on the government to give officers greater powers so they can do their job more effectively.

LBC's Political Editor Theo Usherwood said it was "another Nick Ferrari campaign which looks set for a change in the law."

Theo revealed after speaking to sources close the Home Secretary that the Government proposed to introduce legislation early next year.

This would give the police powers to break up protests which target infrastructure and businesses.

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When asked about the proposed powers, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told LBC it is "important the police get the powers they need" before adding "there is no better defender of our police and law and order than Priti Patel."

Currently, the Public Order Act gives the power to prohibit protest marches which cause serious public disorder - but not any other form of protest. Nick is starting his campaign to amend that to include the tactics used by groups like XR.

“It is not about banning protests. It is ensuring that people can protest in a free and fair way without stopping people from going about their lives or blocking democratic functions from happening,” a Government source told the newspaper.

“Look at Extinction Rebellion where they shut down the whole of the city or prevented newspapers from publishing. People would not say that’s a lawful protest.”

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Speaking to LBC earlier in the year, Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick revealed the strain put on police from large scale protests such as Extinction Rebellion and said more needed to be done, saying: "I think there should be a greater deterrent, absolutely, and there should be a way in which we can stop people simply bringing our city to a halt and causing such serious disruption."