Darren Adam 1am - 4am
Nick Ferrari confronts policing adviser over woman, 72, arrested during protest
25 November 2020, 09:25
Nick Ferrari confronts policing adviser Allan Jones QPM after a woman, 72, was seen being bundled into a police van by four officers for reportedly "peacefully protesting."
Conservative MP Charles Walker witnessed the arrest and was filmed angrily shouting at police, accusing them of being 'un-British' for detaining an "elderly lady peacefully protesting" about Covid restrictions outside Parliament.
The MP raised the issue as a point of order in the Commons and urged the Prime Minister to "end these injustices now" after a video of the incident went viral.
Nick Ferrari asked Mr Jones whether the woman needed to be arrested by four police officers, one holding each limb.
"The police are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea," Mr Jones said, "protests and the right to protest is fundamental and it falls under things like the human rights act...it's important we allow protests to continue.
"But on the other hand these are strange times, anything to do with crowds gathering and people coming together is increasing the risk of peoples' lives, especially at the moment with lockdown as it is over the coronavirus."
MP Charles Walker fuming as elderly protester bundled into the back of a police van outside Parliament pic.twitter.com/kkXl2gkCcv— Tom Ridgway (@Tridg98) November 24, 2020
Nick replied, "She wasn't posing any threat, she wasn't trying to get in to the House of Commons, where are they caught?"
Mr Jones replied that if there was a notice put out that there cannot be protests in certain areas due to the lockdown status and someone does protest, "What are the police supposed to do?"
He explained that the reason she was "dragged in to the back of the van", as Nick put it, by four police officers is due to the fact she'd "let herself go limp."
He asked Nick which protests should be allowed and which protests should be disallowed.
"Ones that pose a threat or a danger, a 72 year old woman choosing to lie on the pavement outside the House of Commons, just let her lie. She can lie there til this morning if she wants to, that's the British way," Nick said.
Mr Jones conceded that this incident "doesn't look good" for the Metropolitan Police: "Their reputation will be damaged from these photographs."
"You have to remember, too, that the alternative wouldn't be any better."