Policing Bill: MPs must follow Lords in rejecting 'deeply authoritarian' legislation

“The right to protest is fundamental to a free and fair society"

MPs must follow the House of Lords and reject the “deeply authoritarian” provisions of the Controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill when it returns to the Commons for debate this week (Monday 28 February), Amnesty has said.


Last month, the Government suffered a series of defeats in the House of Lords when peers voted against various measures in the bill.


Tomorrow, the bill enters into a “ping pong” process when it returns to the Commons for MPs to reconsider the Lords’ amendments, before then being returned to the Lords for their further consideration.

More than 800,000 members of the public have signed a petition calling for a major rethink of the measures, while thousands of people have written to their MPs urging them to take a stand against the bill since it was last in the Commons (see https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/policing-bill-demand-action).

Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s CEO, said:

“The extensive cross-party opposition from the Lords shows the Government got it wrong on this one and MPs should reject the deeply-authoritarian provisions of this Bill, which fly in the face of the values and historic liberties of this country.

“The right to protest is fundamental to a free and fair society. Protest is a cherished part of British history - from the anti-slavery movement, to the suffragettes and recent anti-war marches.

“The police simply do not need vast new powers to arrest ordinary people exercising their right to protest. 

“This bill will also further entrench racism and discrimination in British policing.

“A huge expansion in stop-and-search powers is likely to have hugely disproportionate impacts on Black people, who are already much more likely to be stopped and searched, to be Tasered or even to die in police custody.

“We hope to see MPs standing up for the basic rights and freedoms of their constituents by rejecting this dangerous power grab”. 




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