Police Told To Intervene "When Appropriate" Amid Soubry Harassment Complaint

Police Told To Intervene

Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay has been accused of "excusing and legitimising mob rule" after he said the abuse of Tory MP Anna Soubry in Westminster showed why a second European Union referendum would be a bad idea.

More than 50 MPs have written to the force demanding an improved response to abusive protesters, with the letter warning of "the deteriorating public order and security situation" around the College Green area of Westminster.

"An ongoing policing operation at the Parliamentary estate around Brexit continues and we have an appropriate policing plan in place".

The reaction to the protesters who approached Anna Soubry and Owen Jones from ordinary Brexit supporters on social media has been mixed, with many believing they went too far and stressing they do not represent Leave voters more generally.

In his letter to Ms Dick, the Speaker said: "It is, frankly, intolerable if Members of Parliament and journalists can not go about their lawful business without being ritually insulted, abused, intimidated, threatened and harassed".

Later in the chamber, he told MPs: "Let's be quite clear about that, it's a type of fascism".

In his letter to Ms Dick, the Speaker said: "It is, frankly, intolerable if Members of Parliament and journalists can not go about their lawful business without being ritually insulted, abused, intimidated, threatened and harassed".

The Tory MP for Broxtowe added that, while she anticipated a level of criticism and abuse as an MP, she expected authorities to act when it "crossed the line".

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She said: "It crossed the line in December, it was journalists who were being attacked".

"(Sky News' political editor) Faisal Islam, who is male, was racially abused by these people, it's the same group, all on video, and the policy of the Metropolitan Police is to ignore it".

Protesters could be chanting the vile abuse at former Cabinet minister Anna Soubry as she was interviewed by the BBC live on air yesterday.

"I find it a very hard balance to get right - I'm a democrat and I want people to express their views, but I do think some people outside Parliament now cross the line", Mr Redwood told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer. She was also called a liar and a Nazi - during live TV interviews that took place outside the Parliament.

There was support for Soubry from across the political spectrum, but Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay was criticised after he suggested the attack on his Tory colleague was a reason not to have a second referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.

While she has not signed the letter calling for police action, Conservative MP for Gosport Caroline Dinenage said police need to keep a "close eye" after what she called a "legitimate" protest "segued into something more thuggish and threatening".

"It is utterly unacceptable for Members of Parliament, journalists, activists and members of the public to be subject to abuse, intimidation and threatening behaviour and indeed potentially serious offences while they go about their work" the statement said.

DAC Laurence Taylor also said that he expects officers to be intervening when people are "prevented from going about their daily lives either through intimidation or obstruction" but added that "we have to accept that people have a right to protest".

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