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Rishi Sunak is reportedly planning to strengthen the police’s hand at protests following the Armistice Day violence, which some have blamed Suella Braverman for.
The home secretary’s political future is at stake after she was accused of stoking tensions and pressure mounted on the prime minister to sack her.
There is much speculation in Westminster that he could carry out a ministerial reshuffle this week that could lead to her replacement.
According to several newspapers, Mr Sunak is seeking to tighten laws to make it easier to ban marches and prosecute those who glorify terrorism.
When he meets with the chief constable in the coming days, he is expected to press Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to prevent a repeat of Saturday’s ugly scenes in London.
He said both far-right “thugs” and “those who sing anti-Semitic chants and wave pro-Hamas signs and clothing” must face “the full and swift force of the law.”
Ms Braverman, meanwhile, doubled down on her calls for an end to pro-Palestinian protests as she warned that London’s streets were being “polluted by hate, violence and anti-Semitism” and hit “sick” chants and placards at Saturday’s march.
In her remarks on Sunday, she barely mentioned the far-right counter-protesters she said she had encouraged by previously speaking of pro-Palestinian “mobs” and police bias for allowing the rally to go ahead.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper blamed the unrest on Ms Braverman’s “appalling and unprecedented attack” on police impartiality and her “deliberate” stoking of tensions.
According to the Met Police, seven men have been charged with offenses including assaulting an emergency worker, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon.
Officers arrested 145 people – mostly counter-protesters – and nine officers were injured as they prevented a violent crowd from reaching the cenotaph on Saturday.
Police said that while the pro-Palestinian march did not involve the kind of violence carried out by far-right groups, investigations into serious offenses related to anti-Semitism and hate crimes were continuing.
Mr Sunak will call on the Met Police to immediately arrest protesters who use anti-Semitic slogans, The Times reported, after images emerged of protesters wearing Hamas-style headbands and holding signs with the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” were to be seen.
His actions could also lead to tightening laws around fireworks, smoke bombs and flares, as well as new laws to prevent protesters from climbing statues, according to The Sun.
The threshold at which police can ban marches for security reasons would be lowered to take into account the “cumulative effect” of weeks of marches.
Sir Mark had resisted political pressure to block the Gaza march, which coincided with the commemorations, saying the scale of potential problems was below the high threshold set by the law for a ban.
Mr Sunak has repeated his threat to hold the Met boss “to account” for the decision at their upcoming meeting.
Violence by right-wing groups near the Cenotaph on Armistice Day was “unprecedented”, the Met Police’s deputy assistant commissioner has said.
Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, Laurence Taylor said: “What was surprising was the intention of the people who came.
“Especially with this right-wing group, violence at 10 a.m. is unprecedented.”
Downing Street did not respond to questions about the crackdown on Mr Sunak’s protests.
Source : www.independent.co.uk