Sir Keir Starmer has been urged to condemn Labour politicians who criticised police for “excessive force” in dealing with illegal Kill the Bill protests in Bristol.
A group of 16 Labour candidates for the forthcoming city council elections put their names to an open letter condemning “chilling” scenes of police using “excessive force” against protesters demonstrating against the Government’s new criminal justice Bill.
Their letter was in stark contrast to a defence of police and the tactics used to clear people staging sit-down protests on Tuesday and Friday by Marvin Rees, the Labour Mayor of Bristol.
He said: “Avon and Somerset Police in Bristol have shown they are capable of managing protests well and with sensitivity and have developed a strong culture of working with our communities.”
Both protests, and one which ended in a riot at Bridewell police station 10 days ago, were illegal under coronavirus restrictions, and police had allowed each to continue for hours before taking steps to physically move people on from the locations.