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Police Accused Of ‘Losing Control’ Of Climate Protest As Government Is Urged To Step In

The Daily Telegraph

Cressida Dick was today accused of allowing Extinction Rebellion protesters to take control of the police.

Members of the House of Lords urged the Government to step in and take urgent action as protesters disrupted Westminster for a second day, pitching tents and gluing themselves to buildings.

The former speaker of the House of Commons, Baroness Boothroyd said that she had taken part in demonstrations when younger, but added: “In those days the police were in control of me as a demonstrator.

“Now it seems to me that the demonstrators are in control of the police.” 

Her comments were echoed by Tory former Cabinet minister Lord Forsyth suggested that it was “just another example of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, doing her best and it not being good enough.”

Their comments came after officers had reportedly asked meat traders not to beep their horns when arriving at the 800-year-old Smithfield market in the early hours of Tuesday morning so as not to wake the sleeping demonstrators inside.

Baroness Williams of Trafford, a Home Office Minister, admitted in response to an urgent question that the city of London was “gridlocked” and the effect on business was “quite disgraceful”.

Describing the climate change demonstration as “peaceful with very sinister undertone” she said protesters had “strewn” single-use plastic across Westminster, adding: “The cars gridlocked are unbelievable for the amount of pollution they are causing.”

It came as protesters faced accusations of hypocrisy when they were photographed eating in McDonalds with Ben Bradley, the Tory MP, saying their “lack of self-awareness is absolutely staggering”.

By Tuesday afternoon the Metropolitan Police said they had made 212 arrests, bringing the total held to 531 over two days.

They issued a public order notice stating that anyone linked to the protest must go to the pedestrianised area at Trafalgar Square or risk arrest.

They said in a statement: “The Met believes that this action is necessary in order to prevent the demonstrations from causing serious disruption to the community”  

Despite claiming this would be their biggest protest yet, Extinction Rebellion lost both their blockades on Lambeth and Westminster Bridge within the first 24 hours. 

However, protesters glued themselves to the Department for Transport building and to the underside of a lorry outside the Home Office in defiance of the warnings.

As they continued to block roads and bang drums around Westminster demonstrator were  confronted by locals.

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