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MPs urge police to act over Brexit protesters

AFP  |  London 

Dozens of British MPs have written to to warn about a "deteriorating public order and security situation" around parliament, after supporters assailed pro-EU figures there on Monday.

A cross-party group of 55 lawmakers sent the letter to the after prominent Remain supporting Anna was called a "Nazi" by the protesters during live TV interviews near parliament.

The Conservative lawmaker and at least two pro-commentators were then pursued and harangued by the group as they made their way through the area.

"We write to express our serious concerns about the deteriorating public order and security situation in and around the exterior of the parliamentary estate," the MPs' letter to police stated, noting similar incidents last year.

"An ugly element of individuals with strong far right and extreme right connections... have increasingly engaged in intimidatory and potentially criminal acts targeting Members of Parliament, journalists, activists and members of the public," it added.

The said Monday it had received a complaint about a public order offence and its officers were "assessing if any crimes have been committed".

But accused the force of ignoring the increasing levels of abuse hurled at politicians and journalists.

The told ITV's "Good Morning Britain" programme that protestors were regularly "roaming around Westminster intimidating people going about their lawful business".

There was a noticeable police presence around parliament on Tuesday, particularly on the College Green site where carry anchored live coverage and conduct interviews with MPs and commentators.

Several police trucks were seen parked up, while pairs and clusters of officers stood at different points around the perimeter of the laws.

Political tensions are heightened in Westminster ahead of a crunch vote on Theresa May's draft deal next week.

Britain voted to leave the EU following a divisive 2016 referendum campaign and is set to depart the bloc on March 29.

An on Monday saw anti- and pro-protesters, as on most days, around parliament, but there was no sign of those involved in Monday's contentious scenes.

Harry Todd, 27, a campaign organiser for the pro-Brexit Leave Means Leave group protesting at Westminster daily since early December, said: "We have condemned the behaviour because it was unacceptable".

Todd said he welcomed a more forceful police response because he did not want people's right to protest so close to parliament curtailed.

"I want everyone to feel safe when they're protesting," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 18:10 IST
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