Tory Minister Says Pro-Palestine March On Remembrance Day Is 'Inappropriate'

He has written to Sadiq Khan and the Metropolitan Police setting out his concerns.
Protesters at the most recent pro-Palestine march in central London.
Protesters at the most recent pro-Palestine march in central London.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A pro-Palestine march planned for Remembrance Day is “inappropriate”, security minister Tom Tugendhat has said.

He has written to London mayor Sadiq Khan, Westminster Council and the Metropolitan Police setting out his concerns about the event, which is due to take place on Saturday, November 11.

That is also Armistice Day, which marks the end of fighting in the First World War. A two-minute silence will be held at 11am.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning, Tugendhat said that the planned march was “a matter of great concern to me”.

He said: “I know that many of my fellow veterans will be looking forward to that day, not a day of joy but a day of grief. It’s a day when many of us remember those who aren’t standing with us, who aren’t there to lay a wreath, who aren’t there with their friends to have a beer afterwards and talk about the old days.

“It’s a moment when we remember those we lost and I think for the whole country, the Cenotaph is sacred ground and the idea that on a day like Remembrance Day you’d have a protest going past it, I don’t think that’s acceptable.”

However, organisers of the march have insisted they will not go past the Cenotaph, where politicians and veterans will lay poppy wreaths for Remembrance Sunday the following day.

Tugendhat said that in his letters, he had asked Sadiq Khan, Westminster Council and the Met to “look very carefully at the powers that they have and to consider what options they have available” with regard to the November 11 march.

He added: “Personally, I don’t think this is an appropriate time for a protest.”

HuffPost UK understands that only home secretary Suella Braverman has the power to ban the march.

Asked if the protest should be banned, Tugendhat said: “I think protest is incredibly important in a free society.

“I’m just saying the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday is a particularly sensitive time and a sensitive place and it’s a moment when the country comes together, and so I think there are moments where and places where that’s not appropriate.”

Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA) is planning to bus protestors from Leicester to London to take part in the march calling for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas.

FOA spokesman Ismail Patel said: “We definitely will not be at the Cenotaph. We understand the sensitivity of the date.”

A Met Police spokesperson said the organisers of the November 11 march were considering different locations in London.

He said: “They have indicated they are planning a march on the Saturday, but that they are considering different locations given the sensitives around this date,” the spokesperson said.”


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