Thursday, April 15, 2021
HomeSarah Everard vigil: Patel asks Met for explanation after ‘upsetting’ clashes

Sarah Everard vigil: Patel asks Met for explanation after ‘upsetting’ clashes

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Home Secretary Priti Patel says she has asked for a “full report” from the Metropolitan Police after officers clashed with some of those in attendance at a London vigil in memory of Sarah Everard

While the event in Clapham south London, was largely peaceful, scuffles broke out at the front of a crowd of hundreds as police surrounded a bandstand covered in floral tributes to the 33-year-old.

At one stage, male officers could be seen grabbing hold of several women before leading them away in handcuffs, to shouts and screams from onlookers.

In response, the crowd chanted “shame on you”, while during another confrontation a distressed woman could be heard telling officers “you’re supposed to protect us”.

The Home Secretary described footage of the clashes as “upsetting”, adding: “I have asked the Metropolitan Police for a full report on what happened.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the scenes were “unacceptable”, tweeting: “The police have a responsibility to enforce Covid laws but from images I’ve seen it’s clear the response was at times neither appropriate nor proportionate.”

Mr Khan said that he was in contact with Met Commissioner Cressida Dick and was “urgently seeking an explanation”, while Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey called on her to resign.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer described the scenes as “deeply disturbing”.

“Women came together to mourn Sarah Everard – they should have been able to do so peacefully,” he tweeted.

“I share their anger and upset at how this has been handled. This was not the way to police this protest.”

Hundreds of people converged on the south London park despite an official vigil being called off earlier in the day due to police warnings over coronavirus restrictions.

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