Dartford MP Gareth Johnson has today asked the Leader of the House of Commons, Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg for a debate to be scheduled as soon as possible to discuss the policing of Extinction Rebellion Protests. Mr Johnson asked the Leader of the House;
“Can we have a debate on the policing of the Extinction Rebellion protests? This will give Members an opportunity of praising the Metropolitan Police and other forces such as Kent Police, who have leant their help too. It will also give Members the opportunity of rebutting the shameful criticisms levelled at the Police by the London Mayor.”
In response, The Leader of the House of Commons said;
“ I must confess, I agree with my honourable friend. It is really shameful that somebody who has a role with the Police should be criticising the Police when they have done everything possible to ensure that law and order is maintained when they have come under enormous pressure. I spoke to some of the Police Officers who were around during the Extinction Rebellion and they were sometimes getting up at 2 o’clock in the morning and then on duty for 12 or 14 hour shifts to ensure that we were kept safe. We should be enormously grateful to the Police Service of this Country.”
After the debate, Mr Johnson said;
“I raised this issue in the House of Commons today, as I have witnessed first-hand the disruption that Extinction Rebellion have caused over the last few weeks. The Metropolitan Police, assisted by forces from across the country, have dealt with the protestors in a professional and measured way. I believe it is only right that MPs are given the opportunity to praise the actions of the Police particularly given the recent criticism of their approach by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
The scenes from Canning Town station this morning show the increasing level of frustration that hard-working people have over the actions of these protestors. I support the right of people to protest and agree that we should be doing more to protect the environment but that does not give people the right to stop people from getting to work.”