On Monday, MPs voted in the Commons to reinstate the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, overturning the decision taken in the House of Lords to amend some of the restrictions on protests. The bill aims to give more power to police to quell peaceful protests, for instance if they become too noisy and create “unease, alarm and distress” to neighbouring houses and businesses.
These new measures are the Home Office’s trump card against the highly disruptive – and effective – methods of groups such as Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain.
The Conservative Party, however, is not united in support. A number of Tory MPs have come forward pointing out that noise is a key instrument of protests: the entire point for activists is to be seen and heard.
The amendments will “ping-pong” back and forth between the Commons and the Lords until an agreement is reached.