Committee on policing protesters interrupted by Just Stop Oil protesters

Just Stop Oil protesters interrupt the Commons committee on policing protesters.

A Commons committee on policing protesters has been interrupted by Just Stop Oil protesters, as members of the group were arrested while demonstrating outside Parliament.

The Home Affairs Select Committee, which was grilling police over wrongful arrests during the King's coronation, had to be suspended for almost two minutes.

The protesters were wearing white tops emblazoned with the words Just Stop Oil, which could be clearly seen on Parliament's live stream from the beginnning of the session.

It is not clear how they were not noticed sooner but MPs immediately complained when one of the pair stood up, and MP Lee Anderson could be heard telling police in the room to "do your job officer."

Once the video footage was restored, MP Tim Loughton said: “To be clear, they were Just Stop Oil protesters who tried to undermine the activities of this committee with our witnesses today.”

MPs had been taking evidence from policing representatives, anti-monarchy protestors Republic and human rights lawyer Adam Wagner, examining why several people were detained for hours without charge, including at least female royal fan who was attending the coronation as a spectator.

Some 64 people were arrested during the event in London, including 52 who were held under a controversial new law which allowed officers to arrest people they believed were likely to cause disruption.

Following the event the Met Police said it regretted detaining six protesters from the Republic who were not charged.

They were arrested under the new Public Order Act - which was brought forward ahead of the coronation to help police deal with disruption - because officers suspected they would be "locking on", a protest technique outlawed under the legilslation.

It was implemented amid criticisms from his own MPs and a former police chief about a lack of clarity in the law for officers implementing it.

Matt Twist, Metropolitan Police Temporary Assistant Commissioner, told MPs it was the circumstances and “threat environment” that led to anti-monarchy protesters being arrested ahead of the coronation.

He told the committee: "Officers have to make a difficult judgment at the time, in the moment, based on what they are faced with and based on the information they have."

He added: “But at the time the officers were operating in a threat environment where they believed, taking into account the time, the location, proximity to the route and what they had in front of them, those officers believed that those could be items that could be used for locking on, and that was why the arrest was made.”

Meanwhile, more protesters were arrested outside Parliament as the committee went on.

The Met Police said eight Just Stop Oil protesters were arrested in Parliament Square on Wednesday morning after they did not comply with conditions to move out of the road.

The force said the protesters had been slow walking, and the road was now clear.

Just Stop Oil said 28 people had been marching to Parliament “demanding this government stop licensing new oil and gas projects, which they know will contribute to the deaths of millions. This is a crime against humanity. We will not be complicit.”

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