Protesters erect gallows and noose outside parliament ‘to be used against MPs’

‘As I walked into Parliament earlier this little charmer shouted “this is what we do with traitors” at me, pointing at his gallows and noose,’ says MP

Tom Batchelor
Wednesday 20 October 2021 19:14
<p>Floral tributes are left in Parliament Square for Sir David Amess MP.  His killing prompted  Priti Patel to announce a security review for MPs </p>

Floral tributes are left in Parliament Square for Sir David Amess MP. His killing prompted Priti Patel to announce a security review for MPs

Gallows and a noose were erected by anti-vax protesters outside Parliament on Wednesday, just days after Tory MP Sir David Amess was killed while carrying out work in his constituency.

Conservative Michael Fabricant said demonstrators in Parliament Square had “erected a gallows, a gallows to be used against Members of Parliament”.

Raising a point of order in the House Commons, the Lichfield MP added: “I’d suggest at the very least, not only is it crass and unthinking but it must also be a breach of public order.”

Labour MP Hilary Benn also told the Commons: “I saw that set of gallows as I was coming into the House today and I spoke to the police outside the gates and I said ‘I don’t know who the protesters are, I couldn’t see, if they’re protesting against capital punishment in other countries good luck to them, but if they have put those gallows there and that noose directed at us, especially in the events of the last week, it is not only crass - crass is a very gentle description of what they’ve done - I think it is scandalous’.

“And the police officer to whom I spoke said, ‘we could go over and have a word with them’. I think it’s not acceptable. Because it is a threat. And we should be able to carry out our job without being threatened by people out in Parliament Square.”

Deputy Speaker Dame Rosie Winterton recognised their concerns and, intervening at a later point, said: “I understand the gallows have been taken down and an arrest has been made under the Public Order Act.”

Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove, also tweeted a picture of the gallows and wrote: “As I walked into Parliament earlier this little charmer shouted ‘this is what we do with traitors’ at me, pointing at his gallows and noose.

“Out of the two of us I’m the one who’s life and routine must adapt, not his. Our politics really is broken.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed a man had been arrested in relation to the incident.

A spokesman for the force said: “Shortly before 4pm on Wednesday, 20 October, officers in Parliament Square arrested a man for a public order offence. He has been taken into police custody.

“It follows the erection of a mock gallows by a group protesting against Covid-19 vaccines.”

Priti Patel, the home secretary, previously announced a security review for MPs following the fatal stabbing of Sir David at church in his constituency of Southend West.

A number of MPs have complained of receiving death threats, including Cabinet minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who said she once received a threat to burn down her house with her children inside.

The international trade secretary said an individual was arrested over the “ghastly” threat.

Dominic Raab, the justice secretary, has spoken of having received at least three threats on “life and limb” in the past two years, with the latest relating to an acid attack.

Labour’s Chris Bryant said a man has been arrested following a threat on his life after Sir David was killed.

Additional reporting by PA