Bid to evict parliament protesters back in court

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The Independent Online

A bid by the Mayor of London to evict peace protesters from Parliament Square returns to court tomorrow.

The dispute between Boris Johnson and residents of "Democracy Village" will be fought out at the High Court.

At a hearing in London last week Mr Justice Maddison ruled that the respective arguments merited being aired at a full trial - with a date set for today.

Protesters argue that Mr Johnson does not have the power to bring a claim for possession against them - claiming that the only person with such a right is the Queen.

But Mr Johnson says he does have the right in law to bring the trespass action.

When adjourning the case to today, Mr Justice Maddison said that although his provisional view was that the argument was one on which the mayor was "likely ultimately to succeed", there was room for "lively and legitimate argument as to whether or not he does have title to bring these proceedings".

Another judge, Mr Justice Griffith Williams, will have the task of deciding whether Mr Johnson has the right to bring the action following detailed argument on the law by both sides.

The court has been told the aim of the legal bid was to dismantle or remove any tents or structures on the square and seek to stop unauthorised demonstrations.