New Clause 18 — Demonstrating without authorisation in designated area

Part of Orders of the Day — Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill — [1st Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 9:45 pm on 7th February 2005.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Labour, Hayes and Harlington 9:45 pm, 7th February 2005

So, by the sound of it, we can no longer have competing demonstrations to counterbalance each other. In addition, the powers that the measure gives to the commissioner are absolutely staggering, and there is no provision for them to be circumscribed in the future, or for setting guidelines on them. Is the commissioner really to have the opportunity to designate how many people can turn up to a demonstration, how many placards they can bring and what the design of the placards should be? Is that what we employ the Metropolitan Police Commissioner for? He is going to have a wonderful time choosing between the different designs on Brian Haw's placards.