Downing Street refused to endorse the Metropolitan Police’s decision to allow a “jihad” chant at a pro-Palestine rally on Saturday, Amy Gibbons, The Telegraph’s Political Correspondent, reports.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman also said there were no plans to give police more powers to deal with such incidents as the Government came under pressure to address “gaps in the law”.
Asked if Rishi Sunak agreed with the Met’s response to the demonstration, in which one member of the crowd could be heard chanting “jihad, jihad”, the PM’s spokesman said: “Those scenes and some of the scenes we’ve witnessed were deeply distressing, but obviously set against the fact that there were large scale protests around the country and the police do have a challenging job to do.
“But fundamentally, these are operational decisions. And it’s not for me to step across what are rightly operational decisions for the police.”
He said police have “extensive powers in this space” and “we will continue to discuss with them so there is clarity and agreement about how they can be deployed on the ground”.
Pressed if there are then no plans to give police more powers, he said: “I’m not aware of any, no.”