Questions to the Mayor on his Final Draft Consolidated Budget

MQT on 2015-02-23
Session date: 
February 23, 2015
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor



Answer for Questions to the Mayor on his Final Draft Consolidated Budget

Answer for Questions to the Mayor on his Final Draft Consolidated Budget

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I understand.  You are talking about the recent communications from the MPS about not policing certain protests.  I am in discussion with the MPS about that.


Just for your guidance and the Assembly’s guidance, obviously I am very much of the view that the police do a fantastic job of looking after and managing about 5,000 protests of one kind or another in our city every year.  It is important that they should continue to do so.  One of the factors is that if you say that it is going to be a peaceful protest and you decide to leave it just to TfL to manage or whatever, the risk is that by withdrawing police support and police presence you might encourage the opposite result.  I am concerned that that should not be the way forward.  I am probably at one with you, Jenny, in wanting to see the MPS continue to police protests in London.


Jenny Jones AM:  That is fantastic because in fact the effect of what the MPS is suggesting is that peaceful protests would have to pay to happen, whereas if you say you are going to a violent protest the police will be there for free.  It is illogical.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  It is a serious point and it is well made.  I understand that argument.  We have a great, vibrant democracy in London.  People are allowed to come and protest and they are allowed to shout things whenever they want and are allowed to shout back, too.  However, in the end, the police have to be there and that is my position.


Jenny Jones AM:  I am really pleased you are saying that and I am just curious that the MPS did not run this idea past you.  Did they really not tell you?


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  We are in discussion with them.


Jenny Jones AM:  Thank you.