Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Ministers in new crackdown on ‘guerrilla’ protest tactics

(PA)
(PA)

The Government is to set out plans to crack down on disruptive “guerrilla protests” when it unveils its legislative programme for the new parliamentary session.

A Public Order Bill will outlaw tactics such as protesters “locking on” to public transport infrastructure or gluing themselves to roads, which have been adopted by campaign groups such as Insulate Britain.

It is one of 38 bills to be included in the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday as Boris Johnson attempts to regain the political initiative after rows over lockdown parties and Tory losses in last week’s local council elections.

It represents a bid to revive measures which were previously put forward under the now-passed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill but had to be scrapped after being knocked back by the House of Lords.

Home Secretary Priti Patel
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the measures will stop protesters bringing the country to ‘a grinding halt’ (Yui Mok/PA)

In a sign of the Government’s determination to drive through the measures, officials said the legislation could be introduced in Parliament as early as Wednesday.

Speaking during a visit to the Metropolitan Police specialist training centre in Gravesend on Monday, Home Secretary Priti Patel said ministers were determined to prevent protesters bringing the country to “a grinding halt”.

“The law-abiding, responsible majority have had enough of anti-social, disruptive protests carried out by a self-indulgent minority who seem to revel in causing mayhem and misery for the rest of us,” she said.

“These measures that we are bringing in will make sure that we can protect the public, protect lives and allow people to carry on with their business lives and to safeguard our critical national infrastructure.”

Boris Johnson leaving 10 Downing Street
Boris Johnson said the Government’s programme would get the country ‘back on track’ after Covid (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The bill will create new criminal offences of “locking-on” and going equipped to “lock-on” to other people, objects or buildings in order to cause “serious disruption”, with a maximum penalty of up to six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both.

A new offence of interfering with key national infrastructure – such as airports, railways and printing presses – will carry a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.

It will also become illegal to obstruct major transport works, such as the HS2 high speed rail link, again punishable by up to six months in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.

The bill will also extend stop and search powers so the police can seize articles related to the new offences, while new preventative serious disruption prevention orders will also be available for those who repeatedly cause criminal disruption.

Ahead of the Queen’s Speech, Mr Johnson said it was part of a wider programme to get the country “back on track” after the pandemic while addressing the cost of living challenges.

“In spite of everything we have been through, we are going to ensure that over the two years we have left in this parliament, we spend every second uniting and levelling up this country, exactly as we said we would,” he said.

“We will get the country through the aftershocks of Covid, just as we got through Covid, with every ounce of ingenuity and compassion and hard work.”

The programme includes seven bills intended to capitalise on the benefits of Brexit by removing EU regulation covering areas from data reform to gene-editing to financial services.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from The Courier Politics team

More from The Courier