A so-called ‘statue protector’ was caught urinating next to a memorial dedicated to the police officer killed in the Westminster terror attack amid violent clashes between far-right protesters and police in central London.
Several hundred demonstrators, mostly white men, attended the protest organised by far-right groups, including Britain First, which claimed they wanted to protect statues such as Winston Churchill from vandalism.
But fights erupted in areas near the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square, as demonstrators repeatedly assailed officers with foul-mouthed chants and missiles, smoke grenades and flares.
Shards of glass were strewn along the streets close to the Cenotaph on Whitehall after bottles were thrown at police officers clad in riot gear.
MP Tobias Ellwood, who gave first aid to Pc Keith Palmer as he lay dying after being stabbed to death in the grounds Parliament by Khalid Masood in 2017, said the image of the man urinating next to the memorial was “abhorrent”.
“Absolute shame on this man”
The Tory MP for Bournemouth East and chairman of the Defence Select Committee, tweeted a picture of the man and wrote: “Absolute shame on this man.
“Of all the images to emerge over these few testing days I find this one of most abhorrent. Please help identify him.”
Absolute shame on this man.— Tobias Ellwood MP (@Tobias_Ellwood) June 13, 2020
Of all the images to emerge over these few testing days I find this one of most abhorrent.
Please help identify him. pic.twitter.com/8ydcNmTWrN
Scotland Yard said that as of 5pm on Saturday, they had arrested five people for offences including violent disorder, assault on police, possession of an offensive weapon, being drunk and disorderly and possession of Class A drugs.
By around 5.30pm, London Ambulance Service said it had treated 15 people for injuries, including two police officers.
Six of these patients, all members of the public, had to be taken to hospital.
The Metropolitan Police Federation chairman, Ken Marsh, condemned the “disorder and unruliness”, and suggested the man pictured urinating next to the memorial should be sent to prison.
Speaking to the PA News Agency, he said: “It’s horrendous. The man urinating next to Keith Palmer’s memorial is disgusting.
“A faction of people today [Saturday] only had one intention – to be violent and unlawful, they didn’t come here to protect the statues, it’s just disorder and unruliness.
“I suggest serious custodial sentences in relation to assaults on police and others, criminal damage and urinating next to the memorial of heroes.”