Starmer urged to oppose Tories ‘authoritarian’ Public Order Act
Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts has urged Labour leader Keir Starmer to commit to repealing the Conservative government’s controversial Public Order Act.
Ms Saville Roberts is calling on the Labour leader to oppose the legislation which saw dozens of peaceful protesters arrested during the Coronation weekend.
Speaking ahead of an SNP opposition day debate calling for the repeal of the Act on Tuesday afternoon, a debate supported by Plaid Cymru, she said those arrests revealed the Act’s “intended purpose of clamping down on the right to protest”.
The Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP, who will be a keynote speaker in the March for Independence in Swansea on Saturday (20 May), reaffirmed her party’s “unwavering commitment to the right to protest”.
Her intervention comes after Mr Starmer reiterated his support for the Act.
On Monday, he told to LBC radio that “now it’s on the books, I think we need to let it settle in.”
Ahead of the debate, Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “The arrests of peaceful protesters during the Coronation weekend were not an anomaly, they were a clear demonstration of the Tory Public Order Act’s intended purpose of clamping down on the right to protest.
“Wales boasts a rich history of resistance, from the Rebecca Riots to the Merthyr Rising, the miners’ strike, and the fight for Welsh language rights. Labour Party supporters and members across Wales are proud of this history.
“It is therefore deeply disappointing that Labour leader, Keir Starmer, is all too happy to see our democratic rights trampled by the Tories.
“We urge Keir Starmer not to side with the Tories on anti-protest laws. If he fails to change course, we can only conclude that there is no longer any substantive difference between the Conservatives and Labour.
“Authoritarian conservatism, with a red rosette, is not in the interest of the people of Wales, she added.
“As we prepare for the independence march in Swansea this Saturday, Plaid Cymru reaffirms our unwavering commitment to the right to protest. We will stand up against this unjust legislation and defend our democratic rights.”
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