Home Office proposes war memorial protest laws: What could be banned and why


Britain is set to have tougher rules on how it tackles protestors who climb on war memorials or try to cover up their identity.

The Home Office has announced beefed up police powers as part of the proposed Criminal Justice Bill, which is currently being looked at in Parliament.

Proponents have hailed it as an effective way of clamping down on what it considers disorder while opponents have said it is authoritarian.

But what are the rules and why are they controversial?

What are the new rules?

The Criminal Justice Bill set out by the Home Office on Thursday (February 8) will give police powers to arrest protesters who cover their faces in a bid to avoid prosecution.

Additionally, people who scale monuments could face three months behind bars and a £1,000 fine.

The proposed bill also makes it illegal to carry flares and other pyrotechnics during demonstrations.

In addition, protestors will no longer be able to block roads.

It follows demonstrations such as the one at the cenotaph. Police have previously said they will use new tactics to stop troublemakers.

What have people said?

The Home Office has said the new rules mean that protesting is "no longer an excuse for certain public order offences".

Home Secretary James Cleverly tweeted: “Climbing on war memorials. Endangering police officers. Disrupting the public.

“These acts have no place on our streets. We are taking action.”

Opponents have called it out as being a move that threatens the right to protest.

Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Green Party, said: "This is another worrying step towards an authoritarian state, which too many in the government seem intent on creating.

"This government is reaching the stage where it views any disagreement with its plans as practically an offence in itself.”