Brian Haw loses bid for eviction appeal

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The Independent Online

Peace campaigner Brian Haw faces eviction from an area of grass in Parliament Square Gardens after today losing a bid to launch a Court Of Appeal challenge against a possession order granted to the mayor of London.

Mr Haw's long-standing presence on the pavement on the east side of Parliament Square is not threatened by the order.

It relates to his encroachment on to a small adjoining part of the gardens where he has pitched a tent.

Mr Haw is having treatment for cancer in Germany. His co-campaigner Barbara Tucker made today's application to appeal.

After the appeal bid was lost, Mrs Tucker said she did not believe the eviction had anything to do with clearing the area for the royal wedding - "it is about getting rid of our peace campaign".

Mr Haw, now in his 60s, has staged a continuous demonstration in Parliament Square against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.

In March, the High Court granted Mayor Boris Johnson an order for possession and an injunction against both Mr Haw and Mrs Tucker.

Mr Justice Wyn Williams concluded that there was substantial evidence which justified the conclusion that the making of orders in the case was proportionate.

Today Mrs Tucker asked two judges to adjourn the appeal application to give Mr Haw more time to seek legal aid to mount his appeal and explain why he should be allowed to remain on the grass for health reasons.

Mrs Tucker said that if the Mayor's order was enforced, Mr Haw, despite suffering from cancer, would have to sleep on the pavement.

She asked: "If he returns, is it going to be safe for him to be that close to the traffic fumes?"

Rejecting the application, Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and Lady Justice Smith ruled there was "no prospect" of any appeal being successful and the Mayor was entitled to his order for possession without any further delay as "justice delayed is justice denied".

Mrs Tucker interrupted Lord Neuberger as he gave his judgment, saying: "This is a cover-up. Are you finished now?"

She and several supporters walked out of court as Lady Justice Smith announced she agreed that the application should be dismissed.

Last July, demonstrators in the makeshift camp known as Democracy Village were ordered to leave the historic site after the Court of Appeal backed possession orders granted to the Mayor.