Thousands take to the streets to protest against PM’s suspension of Parliament
Large-scale protests against the Prime Minister’s controversial plan to suspend Parliament are taking place in city centres across the country.
Chants of “shame on you” were directed at Boris Johnson by demonstrators outside Downing Street on Saturday as streets around Government buildings in Westminster were brought to a standstill.
There are 32 planned protests taking place across the UK organised by anti-Brexit campaign group Another Europe Is Possible.
Demonstrators gathered outside Oxford University’s Balliol College, which was attended by Mr Johnson, to express their displeasure about his handling of Brexit.
Lesley McKie, who was at the college with her family, criticised the “undemocratic actions of Boris Johnson and (senior adviser) Dominic Cummings”.
Denouncing the Prime Minister outside the institution where he established his “political profile” sends “a powerful message to Johnson and others leading this coup”, she added.
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott addressed the London protesters from a stage near Downing Street.
She told the crowds: “We cannot allow Boris Johnson to shut down Parliament and to shut down the voice of ordinary British people.”
More than 1,000 protesters gathered in cities including York, Manchester and Newcastle.
Chris McHugh, 33, who works for Labour MP Liz Twist and was demonstrating in Newcastle, said the protest is about “protecting democracy”.
He added: “The fact that thousands have taken to the streets of Newcastle today is so telling.”
Protests are also taking place in cities including Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, Swansea, Leeds, Belfast, Bristol and Aberdeen.
They are also being held in towns including Bodmin in Cornwall and Clitheroe in Lancashire.
Left-wing campaign group Momentum has called on its members to “occupy bridges and blockade roads” in conjunction with unrest on the streets.
The protests were triggered by the PM’s decision to suspend Parliament for up to five weeks ahead of the October 31 Brexit deadline.
Opponents claimed the move was aimed at stopping discussion of Brexit and hampering cross-party efforts to block the prospect of a no-deal withdrawal from the European Union – an allegation denied by Mr Johnson.