East Yorkshire Conservative MP David Davis defends anti-monarchy protesters

David Davis speaks to Steve Bray
Conservative MP David Davis, pictured with anti-Brexit protester Steve Bray. Credit: PA

A senior Conservative MP has defended anti-monarchy protesters after multiple arrests following the Queen's death.

David Davis, the MP for Haltemprice and Howden, in East Yorkshire, wrote to Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone asking for protesters' right to free speech to be protected.

Mr Davis said that he is a staunch monarchist, but republicans had as much right to express themselves as anyone else.

He said that Britain's tradition of free speech should be protected.

He wrote: "If the individual concerned committed acts of violence, or the police had reason to believe they would, then action was obviously necessary.

"But if the individual was simply stating an opinion, I trust you agree a liberal approach would be desirable.

"I speak as a strong monarchist, but nevertheless I hope that members of the public will remain free to share their opinions and protest in regard to issues about which they feel strongly."

It follows the arrest of at least three protesters, including two who have been charged over alleged anti-monarchy statements.

A 22-year-old woman is due to appear in Edinburgh Sheriff Court after being arrested outside St Giles' Cathedral during King Charles III's Proclamation Ceremony.

A 22-year-old man was also arrested and has since been charged in connection with a video appearing to show Prince Andrew being heckled during a procession on the Royal Mile.

Officers also arrested a 45-year-old in Oxford in connection with 'who elected him?' being shouted during the reading of King Charles' proclamation.

The arrests were made on the grounds of alleged breaches the peace and public disorder.

Mr Davis wrote in his letter that he did not want to interfere with judicial process, but hoped the police would take a liberal approach if those arrested were merely stating an opinion.

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