Rishi Sunak fires warning at Met chief and rages at ‘sickening’ Cenotaph attack
Rishi Sunak says Rowley will be held ‘accountable’ for pro-Palestine march
Rishi Sunak has fired a warning shot at the head of the Met Police, after Sir Mark Rowley said he cannot ban the anticipated pro-Palestinian protest.
Last night Sir Mark said the law “provides no mechanism to ban a gathering, a static protest”, despite concerns that the likes of Tommy Robinson may travel to central London as part of a counter-demonstration.
The Prime Minister and others, including Suella Braverman, have already made clear they believe the million-strong protest should not go ahead.
This morning Mr Sunak warned he would hold the Met Police Chief to account if they decide not to ban the protest.
Speaking to broadcasters, the PM said: “This is a decision that the Metropolitan Police Commissioner has made. He has said that he can ensure we safeguard remembrance for the country this weekend as well as keep the public safe”.
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“My job is to hold him accountable for that.
“I have asked the police for information on how they will ensure this happens. I will be meeting the Metropolitan Police Commissioner later today to discuss this.
“My view is these marches are disrespectful.”
Sir Mark has already been accused of being “weak” by Tory MPs, who have compared the Met’s response to the weekly pro-Palestine marches to Boris Johnson being issued a fine for receiving cake during lockdown.
The Prime Minister also used the interview to voice his shock and disgust at the Rochdale Cenotaph being graffitied with pro-Palestinian messages.
Mr Sunak described the desecration of war memorials as “absolutely sickening”.
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“This weekend will be about the country coming together to pay tribute and recognise the sacrifice of so many over so many years.
“That’s what I’ll be doing, and it’s what the vast majority of the country will be doing this weekend: marking that moment with the dignity and respect that it deserves”.
Last night Rochdale Council said the graffiti attack was “totally unacceptable and is being investigated by police”.
They pledged the graffiti would be “removed as soon as we are able to”.
Responding to the attack, Tory MP Jonathan Gullis asked: “What has the UK come to?”
“It is disgusting to see what vermin have done to a sacred memorial remembering our fallen heroes.
“It’s why James Sunderland MP and I introduced the Desecration of War Memorials Bill, which became law last year.
“The police must lock these scum up!”
The Desecration of War Memorials Bill means vile Brits who attack the statues can face up to 10 years in prison.
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