Suella Braverman to urge Met to use ‘full force of the law’ over ‘jihad’ chants at protest – UK politics live | UK news
Police will have to explain the response to a pro-Palestine protester chanting “jihad”, a cabinet minister has said ahead of a meeting between Suella Braverman and the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley.
The home secretary will urge Rowley to use the “full force of the law” after video emerged of a protester chanting “jihad” at a demonstration by the Hizb ut-Tahrir fundamentalist group, which was separate to the main pro-Palestine rally, PA Media reports.
Officers said no offences were identified in the footage from the demonstration in central London over the weekend.
Braverman’s cabinet colleague, Mark Harper, said the footage from the weekend was “disturbing”.
The transport secretary told Times Radio:
The home secretary will make it clear that the government thinks the full force of the law should be used.
The police are operationally independent, which I think is appropriate, and they will have to explain the reasons for the decisions they have taken.
The Met has pointed out that jihad has “a number of meanings”, and said that specialist counter-terrorism officers had not identified any offences arising from the specific clip from Saturday.
Instead, officers spoke to the man to “discourage any repeat of similar chanting”.
But the home office minister Robert Jenrick said chanting the word on the streets of the capital is “inciting terrorist violence”.
Braverman will use her scheduled meeting to discuss protests surrounding the Israel-Gaza conflict to ask Rowley for “an explanation over the response to incidents” on Saturday.
A source close to the home secretary added:
There can be no place for incitement to hatred or violence on Britain’s streets and, as the home secretary has made clear, the police are urged to crack down on anyone breaking the law.
Welcome to today’s liveblog. I’m Nicola Slawson and I’m covering for Andrew Sparrow today. Do drop me a line if you have any questions or comments. I’m on [email protected] or @Nicola_Slawson on X, the site formerly known as Twitter.
Here’s a roundup of the key developments from the day so far:
The Met commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, said he had a “really constructive meeting” with the home secretary, Suella Braverman, about the government’s position on the policing of pro-Palestine protests over the weekend. He said: “We’re accountable for the law. We can’t enforce taste or decency, but we can enforce the law.”
Downing Street has indicated there are no plans to give police more powers to address chants deemed to be extremist, after “jihad” was shouted at a pro-Palestine rally. The chant was heard at the demonstration by the Hizb ut-Tahrir fundamentalist group, which was separate to the main pro-Palestine rally.
The government is delaying the promised ban on “no fault” evictions until after a reform of the courts is achieved in the face of a Tory rebellion, provoking claims they are kicking the move into the “long grass”. The housing secretary, Michael Gove, has told Conservative MPs that the ban on section 21 evictions will not be enacted before a series of improvements are made in the legal system
Humza Yousaf visited Brechin, Angus, to assess the damage from Storm Babet. The Scottish first minister met and thanked emergency service, and search and rescue personnel who had been working since the storm hit. He told one resident it will be a “long road to recovery” from the flooding.
Scotland’s justice secretary, Angela Constance, said the Scottish government has to have a “frank” conversation with vulnerable communities about how Scotland prepares for events such as Storm Babet.
Keir Starmer has said he had “productive” talks during a visit to Tata Steel’s giant Port Talbot plant in south Wales. The Labour leader told broadcasters: “We have ambitious plans for the steel industry. We see this as the future, not the past. That requires strategic thinking about our economy. We want to go to clean power, that will bring down energy costs.”
Government officials are using artificial intelligence (AI) and complex algorithms to help decide everything from who gets benefits to who should have their marriage licence approved, according to a Guardian investigation.
The findings shed light on the haphazard and often uncontrolled way that cutting-edge technology is being used across Whitehall.
Civil servants in at least eight Whitehall departments and a handful of police forces are using AI in a range of areas, but especially when it comes to helping them make decisions over welfare, immigration and criminal justice, the investigation shows.
The Guardian has uncovered evidence that some of the tools being used have the potential to produce discriminatory results, such as:
Read the full story here:
The former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald has said the home secretary needed to be a “bit careful” in her interventions on policing.
It comes as Suella Braverman met Sir Mark Rowley, the Met police commissioner, following a pro-Palestinian rally over the weekend.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme, the crossbench peer said:
This present home secretary is certainly making a habit of expressing her views about how policing ought to be conducted.
The rule is that the police are operationally independent, but of course the home secretary is entitled to express her view about what the correct objectives are and the sorts of things that police should be focusing on.
I think she has to be very, very careful not to put herself, insinuate herself, into the position of police officers on the ground who are having to make very difficult and sensitive decisions, in situations where there are perhaps 100,000 people marching through London, feelings are running quite high.
I don’t think it’s right for the home secretary to be assuming the power herself to dictate what those decisions should be. I imagine she is not doing that, I imagine she is simply expressing a view. But it is a view coming from the Home Secretary and that can have a power of its own.
I think she should be a bit careful and give the police, frankly, some space.
The Met commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, said he had a “really constructive meeting” with the home secretary, Suella Braverman, about the government’s position on the policing of pro-Palestine protests over the weekend.
Rowley told reporters following the meeting that incidents of hate crimes against both Muslims and Jews had risen considerably in the past few weeks and that understandably those communities were feeling anxious and fearful.
I was explaining how we are absolutely ruthless in tackling anybody who puts their foot over the legal line.
We’re accountable for the law. We can’t enforce taste or decency, but we can enforce the law.
He said 34 arrests had been made over actions at the recent protests and there were another 22 cases they are looking into.
But he told Sky News that “the law that we’ve designed around hate crime and terrorism over recent decades hasn’t taken full account of the ability of extremist groups to stay around those laws and propagate some pretty toxic messages through social media.
“And those lines probably need redrawing.”
He said that Hizb ut-Tahrir is one of the groups there is concern about and said it is banned in countries like Germany as well as “most of the Muslim world”.
So there are frameworks which are more assertive in some respects, and I think there’s lessons to be learned.
But that’s for politicians and parliament to draw the line.
The decision to delay the ban on no-fault evictions was welcomed by the National Residential Landlords Association chief executive, Ben Beadle.
Reform of the rental market will only work if it has the confidence of responsible landlords every bit as much as tenants. This is especially important given the rental housing supply crisis renters now face.
Following extensive campaigning by the NRLA, we welcome the approach taken by ministers to ensure court improvements are made before section 21 ends.
Angela Rayner said that the decision to “flip-flop” on the section 21 ban “kicks it into the long grass”.
The deputy Labour leader, who is also the shadow housing secretary, argued the promised ban on no-fault evictions was unlikely to be brought in before the next election because the Conservatives will act as “judge and jury” in deciding when the courts have been sufficiently improved.
Having broken the justice system, they are now using their own failure to indefinitely delay keeping their promises to renters in the most underhand way.
This comes at a heavy price for renters who have been let down for too long already. Tens of thousands more families who the government promised to protect now face the prospect of being threatened with homelessness or kicked out of their homes by bailiffs.
Polly Neate, the chief executive of the Shelter housing charity, said renters have “already had to wait far too long for reform”.
The government absolutely cannot kick abolishing no fault evictions down the road and leave them waiting any longer. We need a clear and unambiguous timeline for abolishing these evictions.
Downing Street was unable to say when a ban on no-fault evictions would be introduced.
The government is delaying the promised ban on “no fault” evictions until after a reform of the courts is achieved in the face of a Tory rebellion, provoking claims they are kicking the move into the “long grass”.
The housing secretary, Michael Gove, has told Conservative MPs that the ban on section 21 evictions will not be enacted before a series of improvements are made in the legal system, PA news reports.
The deputy Labour leader, Angela Rayner, accused the government of having “betrayed” renters with a “grubby deal” to win the support of Conservative backbenchers.
The renters reform bill containing the ban promised back in the Tories’ 2019 election manifesto will be debated in the Commons on Monday after a long delay.
The promise to ban section 21 notices, known as “no-fault evictions”, is strongly opposed by a significant number of Tory MPs, the Times reports. Those against the proposals believe it is anti-landlord and will exacerbate the shortage of private rented accommodation.
The chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, and the home secretary, Suella Braverman, are among five cabinet ministers who earn at least £10,000 a year renting out housing, according to a new snapshot of parliament’s landlords.
In all, 68 Conservative MPs – nearly one in five – are currently landlords, according to research by a campaign group, 38 Degrees.
In a letter first reported by LBC, Gove said that “implementation of the new system will not take place until we judge sufficient progress has been made to improve the courts”.
Among the changes to areas that are “currently frustrating proceedings”, they will digitise more of the courts process to make it easier for landlords and explore the prioritisation of cases such as those including antisocial behaviour.
Improving bailiff retention and recruitment, and providing early legal advice for tenants were also cited.
Plans to close rail ticket offices in England go too far, too fast and are too radical to be rolled out without being piloted first, MPs have told the rail minister.
The transport select committee told Huw Merimann there was an unacceptable lack of evidence about the cumulative effect of the planned closures, which risked excluding some passengers, including disabled travellers, from the railway.
The committee said in a letter that both the Department for Transport and the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operating companies, had failed to provide to a recent inquiry any breakdown in the types of passengers who use ticket offices.
MPs said it left campaigners having to do “considerable detective work” to confirm whether operators’ claims stacked up against the details of the proposals.
The letter said:
It does not seem possible to accurately estimate how many of those passengers would be able to transition to purchasing their tickets without access to a ticket office.
We therefore consider that the proposals as put forward by train operating companies in this consultation go too far, too fast, towards a situation that risks excluding some passengers from the railway.
At a minimum, changes this radical should be carefully piloted in limited areas and evaluated for their effect on all passengers before being rolled out. This would allow for the alternative proposals, which at present are too vague, to be properly understood.
Read more here:
Downing Street has indicated there are no plans to give police more powers to address chants deemed to be extremist, after “jihad” was shouted at a pro-Palestine rally.
The chant was heard at the demonstration by the Hizb ut-Tahrir fundamentalist group, which was separate to the main pro-Palestine rally.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said:
Some of these scenes will have likely been incredibly distressing for people to witness, not least to the UK’s Jewish community who deserve to feel safe at what must be an incredibly traumatic time.
We do believe the police have extensive powers in this space and we will continue to discuss with them so there is clarity and agreement about how they can be deployed on the ground.
Pressed if there were any plans to give police more powers, he said: “I’m not aware of any, no.”
Downing Street is unable to say when a ban on no-fault evictions will be enforced after delaying the measure under the renters reform bill until changes are made to the court system.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said:
The bill will deliver on the government’s manifesto commitment to abolish no-fault evictions.
It’s right that courts are ready for what will be the most significant reforms to tenancy laws in three decades.
I think we’ve said from the start the implementation will be phased and I don’t know exactly if there’s set timelines to that.
The business secretary, Kemi Badenoch, has reportedly dealt another blow to the scandal-hit Confederation of British Industry by turning down an invitation to speak at the lobby group’s annual conference.
Badenoch’s team told the CBI she would not be able to address the conference due to scheduling clashes leading up to the chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement on 22 November, according to Sky News.
It leaves the CBI without a high-profile speaker at the annual event, the details of which have yet to be announced.
The summit is usually a major event for UK businesses, but was rumoured to have been scrapped as the CBI tried to recover from the fallout of a string of sexual misconduct allegations.
Earlier this year, the Guardian revealed multiple allegations of sexual misconduct by members of the CBI including a woman’s claim that she was raped by a manager during a 2019 summer boat party on the River Thames, and a separate woman’s allegation that she was raped by two male colleagues when she worked at an overseas office of the CBI.
The director general Tony Danker was sacked in April, after separate allegations of misconduct were made against him, unrelated to the allegations of rape.
Since then, nearly 100 British companies have paused or suspended their membership, including the carmakers BMW, Ford and Jaguar Land Rover; the supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury’s; the asset managers Aviva, Fidelity and Schroders; the US banks Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan; and the oil companies Shell and BP.
The reaction nearly pushed the CBI to collapse, forcing it to secure emergency funding from several banks last month.
Read more here: