Occupy protesters lose their halo as Church lashes out

St Paul's dossier complains of graffiti daubed on building, human faeces in the grounds and alcohol fuelling noise levels at campsite

Relations between St Paul's Cathedral and the Occupy London protest movement have been soured anew after the cathedral provided a dossier of evidence to support a legal bid to evict demonstrators who have been camped on its doorstep for nearly two months.

In a letter to be used by the City of London Corporation in its High Court proceedings, the registrar of St Paul's, Nicholas Cottam, described the "desecration" of the cathedral, claiming that "graffiti have been scratched and painted" on to the building, that "human defecation has occurred" on its grounds and that "alcohol and other stimulants" fuel noise levels which have caused complaints.

The statement also notes that more than half of school parties have cancelled cathedral trips since the camp sprang up, due to safety concerns.

Members of the Occupy London movement said the comments undermined previous progress in relations with the Church. "What is St Paul's Cathedral doing?" a spokesman said. "They pulled out of legal action – or said they did, and said they would work with us. Right now, it sounds like they are working with both sides.

"This submission, which they did not have to provide, is an attempt to bolster the corporation's legal case. If St Paul's was not acting against the camp, they would not be doing this."

Cathedral officials say they have proposed other ways in which the movement can continue its demonstration. A spokesman reiterated that St Paul's is not part of the legal action but said: "Our position has been consistent, even if it has been expressed in different ways over the past two months. We want the camp to disband.

"We respect the corporation's right to carry out its statutory duty but we want to work with the protesters in developing their theme and getting their message out.

"We were asked to provide a statement, but the central message of the camp is something that is worth debating and getting more exposure for because there are inequalities in the financial system and gaps between the rich and the poor."

The cathedral is believed to be frustrated that the focus of much of the attention is now the camp itself, its internal politics and the legal action, rather than on efforts to bring about change in the way the financial system is regulated, which it supports. But a spokesman confirmed that, should the demonstrators ask, St Paul's would consider providing a similar witness statement, backing up their cause, a request the group was "considering".

A spokesman for Occupy London said: "Things have been scaled back already over the past few weeks. It is probably going to look different in the run-up to Christmas. There is a feeling that St Paul's is a headquarters and we are anticipating there will be some presence there but we are having discussions about stripping down the residential side."

Occupy London is spread across three sites, one at St Paul's, one at nearby Finsbury Square and another, non-residential site in a disused office block owned by the Swiss bank UBS.

A spokesman for the City of London Corporation said: "It is time for the camp to go. We do not have a problem with protest but camping in central London cannot be part of that."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own