Protest groups face tough laws for Coronation

May 3, 2023


Protest groups will be allowed at the King’s Coronation on Saturday, security minister Tom Tugendhat has revealed.

But Mr Tugendhat (pictured) refused to discuss what actions could be punished at the event under new public order legislation “for fear of encouraging people to find loopholes”.

He said that they were introduced in response to protests in the UK becoming “disruptive” and “intrusive”.

The new laws banning “serious disruption” have been prompted in part by demos staged by climate protestors.

The new Public Order Act recently came into effect after one group said it is co-ordinating demonstrations across the UK and has held talks with the Metropolitan Police over a protest in London’s Trafalgar Square, as the King’s procession passes.

According to security sources, 11,500 police officers will be on duty on Saturday for the Coronation at Westminster Abbey.

The Metropolitan Police said its “tolerance for any disruption” will be low and pledged to deal “robustly with anyone intent on undermining this celebration”.

A Home Office letter sent on 28 April does not mention the protest, but the unnamed official told the group: “I would be grateful if you could publicise and forward this letter to your members who are likely to be affected by these legislative changes.”

The Home Office describes the laws as “sensible and proportionate measures” in response to actions by groups such Just Stop Oil and Insulate Britain that have caused “serious disruption”.

According to the BBC, Just Stop Oil called the bill “the latest in a string of increasingly repressive laws, enabling police to make any protest illegal before it has even happened”.


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