Under-fire Braverman condemns Armistice Day violence as police charge seven

The political row over Saturday's protests has intensified with questions now being asked about the home secretary's future, as ITV News Political Correspondent Harry Horton reports

Suella Braverman has condemned "sick, inflammatory and, in some cases, clearly criminal" chants and placards at a pro-Palestinian march on Armistice Day as police charged seven people over the disorder.

The home secretary demanded “further action” as she warned that London’s streets are “being polluted by hate, violence and antisemitism”, in comments that appear unlikely to calm tensions. She praised police for their “professionalism” in the face of “violence and aggression from protesters and counter-protesters”. Her first public remarks since Saturday’s chaotic scenes, mainly stemming from far-right counter-protests, focused on displays of antisemitism by some on the pro-Palestinian march she had urged police to ban.

Seven men were charged with a variety of offences following the disorder, including assault on an emergency worker, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon.

Met officers made 145 arrests during the pro-Palestinian demonstration and counter-protest by far-right groups, the force said.

Mrs Braverman has been under fire for inflaming tensions after she branded pro-Palestinian protesters “hate marchers” and accused the police of bias for letting the rally coinciding with remembrance events go ahead. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is facing intensifying calls to sack her as his Home Secretary. On Saturday he called out the "wholly unacceptable" actions by both far-right "thugs" and "Hamas sympathisers".

Writing on social media site X on Sunday, Ms Braverman said: “Our brave police officers deserve the thanks of every decent citizen for their professionalism in the face of violence and aggression from protesters and counter protesters in London yesterday. “That multiple officers were injured doing their duty is an outrage.”

She said “further action” is needed to tackle antisemitism as she zeroed in on placards and chants by some pro-Palestinian protesters. “The sick, inflammatory and, in some cases, clearly criminal chants, placards and paraphernalia openly on display at the march mark a new low. Antisemitism and other forms of racism together with the valorising of terrorism on such a scale is deeply troubling."

Her latest intervention appeared to pile pressure on police to stop weekly pro-Palestinian demonstrations by saying “this can’t go on”.

"Week by week, the streets of London are being polluted by hate, violence, and antisemitism. Members of the public are being mobbed and intimidated. Jewish people in particular feel threatened. Further action is necessary.”

Nine officers were injured as they prevented a violent crowd reaching the Cenotaph on Saturday ahead of a moment's silence. Mr Sunak has said he expects far-right “thugs” and “Hamas sympathisers” to face “the full and swift force of the law”. The prime minister also said he will meet Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley in the “coming days” and repeated his threat to hold the police chief “accountable” for allowing the pro-Palestinian march to take place on Armistice Day.

Police said that while the march did not see the sort of violence carried out by far-right groups, officers were investigating serious offences relating to antisemitism and hate crimes.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, who led the Metropolitan Police operation on Saturday, said: “Public order policing doesn’t end when demonstrators go home. “We have teams of officers who continue to build cases against those in custody and launch investigations into those who come to our attention when images and videos are shared on social media.” Appeals in relation to eight incidents have been published, with more expected, he said. A total of 91 people who were arrested to prevent a breach of the peace in Pimlico as they tried to confront the main pro-Palestinian march have since been released, the Met said. Meanwhile, Cabinet minister Michael Gove thanked police for getting him “home safely” after he was mobbed by pro-Palestinian demonstrators at London’s Victoria station.

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