Peace protester Haw faces removal action

The Mayor of London is today bringing legal action to remove peace protesters camping in Parliament Square.

Greater London Authority (GLA) officers have been given authority by Boris Johnson to commence proceedings for trespass before Mr Justice Maddison at the High Court.

A spokeswoman said: "Parliament Square is a world heritage site and top tourist attraction that is visited by thousands of people and broadcast around the world each day.

"The Mayor respects the right to demonstrate - however, the scale and impact of the protest is now doing considerable damage to the Square and preventing its peaceful use by other Londoners, including those who may wish to have an authorised protest."

The move has been welcomed by Westminster City Council whose leader, Councillor Colin Barrow, has accused the protesters of "hijacking" the Square.

Anti-war protester Brian Haw began his high-profile demonstration against the UK's policy in Iraq and elsewhere on June 2 2001.

He has been arrested many times - most recently last week - as well as facing repeated attempts by the authorities to shut his protest down.