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Charlie Hebdo protest attracts counter demonstration

Credit: ITN

A demonstration by Muslims calling for some limits to freedom of speech attracted a small number of counter protesters from the English Defence League (EDL) and Britain First.

Credit: ITN

People taking part in the Muslim Action Forum event carried placards with slogans including "ABSOLUTE Freedom of Speech - no such thing", "To Insult Is Not Freedom" and "Learn Some Manners".

In response to the demonstration, small groups carrying Britain First banners and EDL flags also gathered on Whitehall. Some shouted "Je Suis Charlie" and some chanted racist slogans.

Campaigners stage demo outside Downing Street

Hundreds of Muslims have gathered in Whitehall as part of a demonstration against the recent publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The protest was organised by the Muslim Action Forum. Participants said they were campaigning for global civility and wanted to encourage people to live together harmoniously.

The group has been running a petition on its website, which has so far collected 106,496 signatures.

It reads: "I believe that through mutual consideration and the revival of civility as a shared medium of dialogue we are better equipped to reconstructing a more enlightened society."

The petition also includes the following points:

  • I endorse emphatically the Declaration of Global Civility drafted by the campaigners of Global Civility
  • I call upon the British Parliament to table a debate in both Houses of Parliament to discuss the endorsement of the Declaration of Global Civility
  • I call upon all civilised people and institutions globally to disassociate themselves from any actions that are an affront to global civility
  • I denounce the actions of all those people who are connected with the production of the cartoons of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon Him, and believe that these actions are an affront to the norms of civilised society.


Ministry of Defence to sell historic War Office

The Ministry of Defence is to sell one of its historic Whitehall buildings as part of a money-saving drive.

A sign for the Old War Office Building, situated on Whitehall in Westminster, central London. Credit: Johnny Green/PA

The Old War Office Building, where military planning took place for conflicts including both World Wars and the Cold War, will be sold on the open market, the MoD said.

It is hoped that the building, which housed figures including Sir Winston Churchill, could fetch £100 million.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: "Bringing MoD teams together into one building will save the taxpayer around £8 million a year in running costs as well as generating a capital receipt. It will also enable closer working and collaboration within the department."

Four charged after bank holiday protests

Four people have been charged following unrest during protest marches over the bank holiday weekend. The charges range from racially aggravated criminal damage to violent disorder.

Police made a total of 13 arrests in Whitehall and Leicester Square.

Five people were later released without charge and another four bailed pending further inquiries. Police say they're continuing their investigation to identify those involved in criminal behaviour.

PICTURE: Naked man mounts statue in central London

Whitehall closed because a naked guy has mounted a statue. Credit: ITV News/Martin Stew

Police had cordoned off a section of around 100 metres of Whitehall, near Trafalgar Square after a naked man climbed a statue there.

Several police cars and ambulances were on the scene.

Crowds of onlookers had gathered at either end of the cordon. The naked man is believed to have been clothed when he climbed on to the statue.

He could be seen waving his arms, apparently speaking to emergency services on the ground, and did not seem to be holding anything.

Whitehall closed by naked man

A section of Whitehall was closed off today after a naked man was seen straddling a statue.

Scotland Yard said it was believed that the man might have a knife as officers shut down part of the road, near the heart of Westminster in central London.

Whitehall runs from Trafalgar Square and is where the Ministry of Defence is situated.