Public Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:49 pm on 8th June 2020.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department 4:49 pm, 8th June 2020

My hon. Friend has made important points. I have already made my view abundantly clear about how unacceptable the violence was that we witnessed on the streets, and the assaults on police officers. Hon. Members will understand that operational decisions on policing come under the operational independence of chief constables, and the Commissioner of Police in London. Police and crime commissioners also have responsibility for the totality of policing in their force area.

For future protests, it is the responsibility of the Mayor of London to ensure that when it comes to policing, protests in particular do not manifest in the way they have done. He has a duty to communicate to Londoners that they should express their own views in a right and proportionate way, by sticking to the regulations that have been outlined by the Government. I made my views clear over the weekend, as did the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care: we do not want to see these protests take place. We are in the midst of a health pandemic, and by gathering in such a way, people’s lives are being put at risk. That does not help anybody; that will not stop the spread of the virus or protect the NHS. The Mayor of London has an important role to play right now, and I urge him to step up and do exactly that.