Sadiq Khan has warned the Government response to protest has to be “within the law”, after the Prime Minister and Home Secretary met with police chiefs in Downing Street on Thursday to discuss action by Just Stop Oil.
Rishi Sunak pledged following the meeting, that police will have whatever powers required to crack down on disruptive environmental protests, as he called it “completely unacceptable” ordinary people were having their lives disrupted.
On Friday, the Mayor of London said: “I think when you protest you should do what you can to try to encourage the public to join your campaign. You have got to protest in a way that is lawful, safe and peaceful and I worry that some of the tactics used by Just Stop Oil is driving people away from joining the campaign to tackle the climate emergency and is doing nothing to change the opinion of the Government.”
But speaking as he visited a homeless charity in Lambeth, Mr Khan also warned that protest is a “cornerstone” of British democracy.
Mr Kahn said: “What the Government has got to realise though, is that protest is a cornerstone of our democracy and they have got to make sure they take action within the law.”
Police chiefs described a “constructive” meeting with Suella Braverman and policing minister Chris Philp to discuss tackling the tactics used by Just Stop Oil protest groups.
The Prime Minister, asked by broadcasters whether ministers will bring in new legislation or boost powers for officers, said: “I’ve said to the police whatever they need from government they will have in terms of new powers.”
Just Stop Oil protests have caused significant disruption in recent months, with the protests condemned by senior government figures.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley on Thursday suggested efforts by officers are having an effect on the protestors.