Patel lashes out at 'thugs and criminals' as she condemns 'utterly indefensible' violence

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The Home Secretary stated that 35 police officers have been injured as a result of protests in London. Ms Patel vowed to bring those responsible to justice and revealed as of this morning 135 arrests had been made in connection with the violence.  



Ms Patel said: “At least 35 officers have now been injured during the protests in the capital.

“I salute their bravery and wish them a swift recovery.

“The thugs and criminals responsible are already being brought to justice.

“This is a fluid situation but as of this morning, the total number of arrests stood at 135.

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Patel lashes out at 'thugs and criminals' as she condemns 'utterly indefensible' violence

Priti Patel is the Home Secretary (Image: Sky News)

Patel lashes out at 'thugs and criminals' as she condemns 'utterly indefensible' violence

Priti Patel scolds violent protesters in House of Commons (Image: PTV)

“As the ugly tally of officer assaults shows some protesters turned to violent behaviour at the weekend.

“This hooliganism is utterly indefensible, there is no justification for it.”

The Home Secretary went on to describe the behaviour of the criminal minority as shameful and pledged that they will face justice.

She said: “To the quiet law-abiding majority who are appalled by this violence and have continued to live their lives within the rules, I hear you.

“To the police who have been subject to the most dreadful abuse, you have my full backing as you act proportionately, fairly and courageously to maintain law and order.

“To the criminal minority who have subverted this cause with their thuggery, I simply say this – your behaviour is shameful and you will face justice.”

Ms Patel also urged Britons not to attend future Black Lives Matter protests due to what she described as a “severe public health risk” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: “The right to come together and express our views peacefully remains one of the cornerstones of our democracy.

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Patel lashes out at 'thugs and criminals' as she condemns 'utterly indefensible' violence

George Floyd timeline (Image: EXPRESS)

“Members of this House share an enduring commitment to uphold liberty and freedom of expression. But under the basis of respecting the rule of law.

“And as our nation battles coronavirus, these are not normal circumstances. So to protect us all and to stop the spread of this deadly disease, any large gatherings of people are unlawful.

“We cannot afford to forget we are still in the grip of an unprecedented national health emergency.

“So this severe public health risk forces me to urge the public not to attend any future protests.”

Ms Patel went on to say protesting in large numbers was unlawful and put the wider public at risk. 

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