Greater Manchester Police to review £10,000 fine given to NHS protest organiser after request by Andy Burnham

Greater Manchester Police have said they will review a £10,000 fine handed to an NHS worker who organised a protest, after a request by the Mayor of Greater Manchester.

61-year-old Karen Reissmann was given the fixed penalty notice for breaching Covid-19 rules on public gatherings over the demonstration in Manchester city centre on Sunday against the proposed 1% pay rise for health workers.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Andy Burnham confirmed Greater Manchester Police would review the fine to check it was "done correctly, fairly and proportionately".

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham asked GMP to review the fine. Credit: ITV News

The mayor added that the police have "no choice" but to enforce coronavirus regulations, which prohibit gatherings of more than 30 people.

He said: "It is the case that the law has changed since last year on protests, so Greater Manchester Police obviously have to enforce the law, there is no choice about that, they have to do that, but they have to do so proportionately.

"There is no, in some ways, excuse for people not following obviously what is the clear advice and guidance that GMP are asked to work towards, and they did inform people on the protest at the weekend."

The result of the review will be released at a later date.

Mental health worker Karen Reissmann was one of the organisers of an event in response to the Government's offer of a 1 per cent pay rise for NHS staff. The Unison rep says she ensured all participants wore masks and cones were marked out on the floor to help maintain social distancing.

The protest took place in St Peter's Square in Manchester City Centre. Credit: MEN Syndication

Greater Manchester Police halted the rally shortly after midday on Saturday 6 March, handing out the fixed penalty fine to Karen.

Within hours of the fine a GoFundMe page was set up by a member of the public to help pay the fine. More than £17,000 has been raised.