Letter to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick from For Britain Deputy Leader Jeff Wyatt on police failure to protect our democratic rights in Lewisham.
Ms C Dick 19th June 2018
New Scotland Yard
Dear Ms Dick,
Metropolitan Police allow mob rule to shut down an official by-election public meeting.
You are probably aware that on Tuesday 12th June all 14 Prospective Parliamentary Candidates contesting the Lewisham East by-election were invited to speak to the electorate at a public meeting. This was held at the Salvation Army Hall in Catford. As a relatively recently formed national political party, we consider that this would have been a valuable opportunity for us in For Britain to speak directly to the Lewisham public and indeed, a wider audience.
You are also no doubt aware that one of the fundamental roles of Police is to uphold free speech and the democratic election process. Your colleagues in Lewisham on Tuesday 12th June 2018 comprehensively failed to do this.
Despite our security team clearly informing the local police of the vent on the day prior, and of the widely publicised threat of a substantial demonstration against us, your colleagues manifestly failed to ensure our ability to safely attend the event, or indeed to allow the event as a whole to take place. The number of officers in attendance was entirely inadequate.
The large, baying and aggressive crowd that gathered outside the venue led our security team to insist we delay our arrival for our own safety. We received no co-operation from the small number of police on the ground. Despite this, party leader Anne Marie Waters and I decided to drive to the public meeting with our security team, relying upon these professional independent ex-military men to see to it that our exercising of our democratic rights was facilitated.
We made your colleagues aware we were en-route. We do not think it is a coincidence that shortly before we arrived at the venue, the police shut the event down and instructed us not to attend. The event was eventually closed down some time between 30 minutes and 1 hour later.
This was a shameful example of the British police, your Police, not giving due priority to the processes of democracy and worse, giving in to mob rule.
Tell me, if the Prime Minister found herself contesting a by-election and wanted to speak at a public meeting, would you allow a feral mob prevent her? I doubt it.
You will shortly hear from our Party Chairman regarding our formal complaint on the matter.
Jeff Wyatt, Deputy Leader
For Britain Movement