City of London calls in lawyers over St Paul’s campers as disruptions enter second week

Steve Dinneen
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THE City of London has vowed to get tough with protesters camping outside St Paul’s as the Occupy LSX movement enters its second week.

A crunch meeting today will see the City of London Corporation meet with representatives of the cathedral and lawyers to discuss how to close down the makeshift commune.

A spokesman for the Corporation told City A.M.: “Clearly we can’t go on indefinitely having a campsite in the middle of the City.

“We have held daily meetings and will discuss our legal options today. Legitimate protest is a proper part of democracy but camping in one of the most densely used spaces in the world is not an option.”

Meanwhile, members of Occupy LSX are set to discuss adding new bases after an “overspill” at St Paul’s prompted them to move into the Moorgate area.

A spokesman for the group yesterday told City A.M. a third site is “on the cards”.

The new camp at Finsbury Square, set up on Saturday, puts the protesters within close reach of the offices of Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS and a series of other global banks.

Yesterday around 30 tents were set up but that number is expected to grow over the coming days, which could hit trade at the nearby bars and restaurants favoured by City workers. A spokesman for Chiswell Street Dining Rooms said the protests “could affect our business and could concern us”.

Around 2,000 people gathered at St Paul’s on Saturday, after the cathedral announced it was closed to visitors for the first time since the end of World War Two.

The Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, the Dean, said the decision to shut indefinitely had been taken due to health and safety concerns and with a “very heavy heart”.

Today members of Occupy LSX and UK Uncut are set to march on the offices of HM Revenue & Customs and to call for the resignation of its head David Harnett, after he admitted it made a “mistake” in its so-called sweetheart tax deal with Goldman Sachs. HMRC has denied doing “sweetheart deals”.