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Police: Protests — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:00 pm on 21st April 2009.

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Photo of Lord Howarth of Newport Lord Howarth of Newport Labour 3:00 pm, 21st April 2009

My Lords, following on from the question posed by the noble Lord, Lord Naseby, does my noble friend accept that there is no principle in our liberal democracy that says that people, in exercising the right to peaceful protest and freedom of speech, should be allowed to block access to Parliament? However much sympathy some of us may have for the plight of the Tamils, should not the police yesterday have ensured that access to Parliament was unimpeded, not just for parliamentarians and staff but, just as important, for other citizens?