Demonstrations

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 29th October 2020.

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Photo of Scott Benton Scott Benton Conservative, Blackpool South

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what discussion he has had with Cabinet colleagues about creating additional legal protections for the right to protest.

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Peaceful protest is a vital part of a democratic society. It is a long-standing tradition in this country that people are free to gather together and to demonstrate their views, however uncomfortable these may be to the majority of us, provided that they do so within the law.

There is, of course, a balance to be struck. Protestors’ rights need to be balanced with the rights of others to go about their business without fear of intimidation or serious disruption to the community. Rights to peaceful protest do not extend to violent or threatening behaviour and the police have powers to deal with any such acts.

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