Jeremy Corbyn’s brother joined revellers and protesters in central London on Friday as police were forced to break up big groups breaking new lockdown rules, and hours before the capital entered the “high” tier 2 category.
Large crowds gathered around bars and restaurants in Soho last night after the 10pm closing time as officers were forced to break up the groups not adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Among the rule-breakers was Piers Corbyn, brother of former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who encouraged people to join him for “music, drinking and dancing” in the central London hotspot.
The activist posted on Twitter and said: “Ignore mad Govt diktats of tiers, curfews and circuit breakers! “#DrinkAgainstTheCurfew Join us tonight, in Soho, from 9.15pm for music, drinking and dancing.”
And on Saturday, Mr Corbyn also lead a group of “anti-lockdown” protesters around central London, with some members seen holding placards that read “no Gestapo policing” and “Covid-19 equals control”.
The capital moved into a tier 2 lockdown at midnight on Friday, meaning people from different households can no longer meet together inside –including in pubs and restaurants.
New Scotland Yard said that officers were sent to Soho on Friday night, one of the capital’s busiest areas, to “reassure the public and ensure compliance with the Covid regulations”.
One person was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and another was issued a dispersal order and asked to leave the area.
Officers said the crowd of late night drinkers were separated shortly before 10.30pm.
In a separate incident, officers were sent to break-up a “block party” shortly before midnight in Camden, north London, where around 30 people were seen playing music in the street, dancing and breaking social distancing rules.
The new regulations could be devastating for the more than 5,000 pubs and around 8,500 restaurants in tier 2 regions, including the capital.
A Met Police spokesperson said: “The Met will continue to use the ‘4 Es’ approach of engagement, explaining the regulations, encouraging people to following them and only enforcing as a last resort. This will include working alongside London’s local authorities to ensure compliance with the regulations around licensed premises.”
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