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Mayor Sadiq Khan has demanded answers from London’s police chief following the arrest of protestors at the Coronation. Scotland Yard has expressed ‘regret’ after six anti-monarchists from the campaign group Republic were taken into custody. The mayor has written to Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley asking him to explain the arrests. Khan said the detentions had ‘given rise for concerns’ and should be subject to an urgent review. He asked the Commissioner to explain why police officers seemingly ignored meetings between the Met and Republic before the Coronation.
"Despite the welcome efforts of so many committed officers, it is clear that some of the arrests made have given rise to concerns and, in my oversight role as Mayor, I am seeking assurance from you that the issues related to these will be subject to a review and lessons learned," Mr Khan said.
The mayor added: "I understand the unique role the Met Police Service play in such events and the difficulties faced in managing an event of this unprecedented scale.
"Making operational decisions in real time and balancing public safety requirements against the fundamental right to peaceful protest is not easy.
"I also understand that the Coronation was a once in a generation event and that this informed Met police officers’ assessment of risk both in advance of the event and in real time on the ground."
Writing for the Evening Standard Sir Mark Rowley defended the arrest of six anti-monarchy protesters and hit out at “ill-informed commentary” amid fierce criticism of the action taken.
Mr Rowley said it was “unfortunate” that the demonstrators were unable to join fellow activists on Saturday following their detention.
The six were the first arrests to be made under the sweeping Public Order Act, under suspicion of going equipped to “lock-on” – a measure protesters use to make it harder for police to move them.
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