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Policing Minister Kit Malthouse confirms independent review into police decisions at Clapham Common vigil

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse confirmed Home Secretary Priti Patel has called for an independent review into the "distressing" scenes from the Clapham Common vigil on Saturday night.

A peaceful remembrance of Sarah Everard, with hundreds of men and women lighting candles and laying flowers, was tarnished as police ended up making some arrests and handing out fines.

The Met Police's handling of the vigil caused a storm on social media as people criticised it for doing the exact thing the women were at Clapham Common to bring attention to.

"I totally recognise that the footage from Saturday night was alarming and distressing to many people," Mr Malthouse told Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid. "It's very sad that an even for people to come and commemorate this extraordinary person who's been subjected to this horrific crime ended that way.

"The Home Secretary has asked for an independent review of what happened on Saturday night and that will tell us broadly the chain of events and the decision making that happened."

Mr Malthouse said the context of a "very challenging" last 12 months for the police needs to be taken into account with everything they've done in that time has been about protecting public health.

Susanna asked Mr Malthouse why the police couldn't have stood back and allowed the women at the bandstand to pay their respects, he responded: "There are lots of important human assemblies that have sadly been curtailed or prevented during coronavirus.

"People were attending, quietly, in a socially-distanced way and paying their respects. Obviously there was a change in dynamic where the police decided to take a different approach because they were concerned about public safety."

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