Iraq protester wins right to maintain vigil at Parliament

The High Court ruled yesterday that the curbs on protests around the Palace of Westminster did not cover Mr Haw, even though they were written to force him to leave. The rules force protesters to obtain permission from the police to demonstrate around Parliament. But Mr Haw's lawyers said the rules only covered protests called after 1 August.

Lady Justice Smith said that a drafting error meant the 2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act did not cover Mr Haw's demonstration. "If Parliament wishes to criminalise any particular activity, it must do so in clear terms."

Mr Haw welcomed the decision. He said: "For centuries, British citizens have had the right to protest outside the Mother of Parliaments. Now this is to be left to the diktat of the police."

The Home Office said that it was considering the judgment.

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