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Labour leader calls for protesters to ‘respect’ those mourning the Queen

14 Sep 2022 3 minute read
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer signs the Proclamation of Accession of King Charles III. Photo Kirsty O’Connor PA Images

Sir Keir Starmer has urged protesters to “respect” those mourning the Queen, and not “ruin” their opportunity to say a private “thank you” to the late monarch.

The Labour leader said he will return to Westminster Hall with his family to personally pay his respects at the lying in state after he joins the committee receiving the coffin in a professional capacity.

He said the country’s response to the Queen’s death has been “very moving”, and encouraged those who might want to protest to be considerate of people’s grief.

On Tuesday, activists gathered outside St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh carrying “blank canvases” to protest in solidarity against several arrests that have been made in relation to incidents during royal ceremonies.

Police Scotland have charged two people in connection with allegedly breaching the peace following two separate incidents earlier in the week.

A protester bearing a handmade sign saying “not my King” was also spoken to by police and escorted away from the Palace of Westminster in London.


Asked about the police response to those wishing to protest, Sir Keir told BBC Breakfast: “The word I’d use around that issue is ‘respect’.

“I think if people have spent a long time waiting to come forward to have that moment as the coffin goes past, or whatever it may be, I think: respect that, because people have made a huge effort to come and have that private moment to say thank you to Queen Elizabeth II.

“Obviously we have to respect the fact that some people disagree. One of the great British traditions is the ability to protest and to disagree, but I think if it can be done in the spirit of respect…

“Respect the fact that hundreds of thousands of people do want to come forward and have that moment, don’t ruin it for them.”

The King and his sons will walk behind the Queen’s coffin as she leaves Buckingham Palace for the final time on Wednesday, ahead of her lying in state.

The royal family will accompany their matriarch on foot on the journey to Westminster Hall where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pay their respects after queuing for hours.

Sir Keir said he and his family will be among those attending.

“Today I’ll be there as part of the reception committee to receive the coffin,” he said.

“Then later on this evening in a private capacity, because my wife and our children… they want to come in, and as a family we will then pay our own personal respects to a remarkable sovereign.”

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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 year ago

Kier Stamer can [REDACTED: FOULEST LANGUAGE] and he can [REDACTED: PUBLIC DECENCY ISSUES] and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was found to be [REDACTED: POSSIBLE LIABLE] and as for that[REDACTED: ITS VERY MEAN THINGS ABOUT HIS STUPID FACE]…. When all is said and done he’s just a [REDACTED: WOW, EVEN FOR ME THIS IS TOTALLY VILE] and I hope he [REDACTED: I FEEL NAUSEIOUS, PERHAPS I SHOULD PHONE MY PYSCH AND ASK FOR SOME MEDS BECAUSE THIS IS REALLY GRIM], I would call him a traitor, but he was never anything but a Blairite from the middle-classes so there… Read more »

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
1 year ago

How about everyone else respects that we are asking valid questions and/or stating facts. An old woman has died, fact. It’s sad for the family and her friends, fact. However, I don’t know and she meant nothing to me, fact. It shouldn’t impact on the lives of those that didn’t know her, fact, but it does effect the rest of us. People are having to rearrange medical appointments and other funerals are postponed. That’s not acceptable in a modern democratic society. The sooner we get rid of the Monarchy the better!

Nia James
Nia James
1 year ago

Another snivelling Labour Loyalist. Starmer should have said that mourners need to respect those protesting against the greed of a family that feels comfortable with handing out redundancy notices to its staff – sorry, servants – whilst turning a blind eye to the dodgy activities and proclivities of its senior male members.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 year ago

If ‘Respect’ is what is required then please would somebody tell the Police. The Royal Tsunami that has washed over every part of society pushed by the palace and the grovelling media has had no respect for the lives of ordinary people. We have had an important repair visit postponed and a group Committee meeting postponed for effectively no good reason. If we wanted to show our respect for QE 2 then lets have a national 2 minute silence on the day of her funeral. Even I, as a Republican, would support that as her funeral represents an important milestone… Read more »

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