Anti-vax louts lob bottles at police during clash outside Parliament

Riot police moved into Westminster this afternoon after officers were attacked by anti-vaccination protesters as traffic was brought to a standstill amid violent scenes in front of the Houses of Parliament.

Eleven people were arrested as thousands of maskless demonstrators chanted ‘shame on police’ and ‘arrest Boris Johnson’ in the 86F (30C) heat, with others urging officers to remove their masks, shouting: ‘Take it off, take it off.’

Dramatic video footage showed punches were thrown as bottles hurtled towards police on Freedom Day as Covid-19 restrictions were eased across England despite the Government still urging caution.

The demonstrators, who are beginning three days of each, moved from Parliament Square onto the road and up to the gates of the Palace of Westminster, blocking the road as officers urged them to move out of the way.

Among the protesters was Piers Corbyn, the brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has been a regular feature at anti-lockdown demonstrations since the pandemic began 16 months ago. 

Police in riot gear hold back protesters trying to reach Whitehall from Parliament Square in Central London this afternoon

Police in riot gear hold back protesters trying to reach Whitehall from Parliament Square in Central London this afternoon

Police in riot gear hold back protesters trying to reach Whitehall from Parliament Square in Central London this afternoon








Anti-vaccination protesters clash with police during a demonstration in Westminster this afternoon

Anti-vaccination protesters clash with police during a demonstration in Westminster this afternoon

Anti-vaccination protesters clash with police during a demonstration in Westminster this afternoon

Police officers were attacked by anti-vaccination protesters this afternoon as they tried to hold them back

Police officers were attacked by anti-vaccination protesters this afternoon as they tried to hold them back

Police officers were attacked by anti-vaccination protesters this afternoon as they tried to hold them back

Anti-vaccination protesters gather at Parliament Square in Westminster this afternoon

Anti-vaccination protesters gather at Parliament Square in Westminster this afternoon

Anti-vaccination protesters gather at Parliament Square in Westminster this afternoon

Piers Corbyn, the brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, with anti-vaccination protesters in London today

Piers Corbyn, the brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, with anti-vaccination protesters in London today

Piers Corbyn, the brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, with anti-vaccination protesters in London today

Protesters confront a police line and shout towards the Houses of Parliament this afternoon

Protesters confront a police line and shout towards the Houses of Parliament this afternoon

Protesters confront a police line and shout towards the Houses of Parliament this afternoon

Anti-vaccination protesters hold a demonstration in Parliament Square this afternoon

Anti-vaccination protesters hold a demonstration in Parliament Square this afternoon

Anti-vaccination protesters hold a demonstration in Parliament Square this afternoon

Video footage showed bottles hurtling towards officers in Westminster this afternoon

Video footage showed bottles hurtling towards officers in Westminster this afternoon

Video footage showed bottles hurtling towards officers in Westminster this afternoon 








A protester shouts and holds up signs with a boy at Parliament Square during the protest this afternoon

A protester shouts and holds up signs with a boy at Parliament Square during the protest this afternoon

A protester shouts and holds up signs with a boy at Parliament Square during the protest this afternoon

Protesters blocking the roads shout slogans towards the Houses of Parliament from Parliament Square today

Protesters blocking the roads shout slogans towards the Houses of Parliament from Parliament Square today

Protesters blocking the roads shout slogans towards the Houses of Parliament from Parliament Square today

One police officer was seen to put a lock on a gate at the entrance to Parliament while those outside held signs with anti-vaccination and anti-police messages.

Scotland Yard said 11 people had been arrested. The force tweeted: ‘A number of officers continue to respond to a demonstration in Parliament Square, Westminster. Eleven people have been arrested for a variety of offences.

‘Our policing operation continues, sadly officers have been met with hostility while engaging with crowds.’

Earlier, the force had said: ‘We are responding to a demonstration in Parliament Square this afternoon. A group have blocked the road which is causing traffic disruption.

‘Officers are on scene, speaking with those taking part in the protest and looking to ease congestion as soon as possible.’ 

Anti-vaccination protesters hold a demonstration in Parliament Square in Westminster this morning

Anti-vaccination protesters hold a demonstration in Parliament Square in Westminster this morning

Anti-vaccination protesters hold a demonstration in Parliament Square in Westminster this morning

Anti-vaccination protesters sit in the road as they hold a demonstration in Parliament Square this afternoon

Anti-vaccination protesters sit in the road as they hold a demonstration in Parliament Square this afternoon

Anti-vaccination protesters sit in the road as they hold a demonstration in Parliament Square this afternoon

Police were seen urging the demonstrators to move out of the road in 84F (29C) heat today

Police were seen urging the demonstrators to move out of the road in 84F (29C) heat today

Police were seen urging the demonstrators to move out of the road in 84F (29C) heat today

Anti-vaccination protesters hold a demonstration in Parliament Square today as they hold up placards

Anti-vaccination protesters hold a demonstration in Parliament Square today as they hold up placards

Anti-vaccination protesters hold a demonstration in Parliament Square today as they hold up placards

Protesters confront police outside the Houses of Parliament during the demonstration today

Protesters confront police outside the Houses of Parliament during the demonstration today

Protesters confront police outside the Houses of Parliament during the demonstration today

An activist gets into a tussle with police during the anti-vaccination demonstration today

An activist gets into a tussle with police during the anti-vaccination demonstration today

An activist gets into a tussle with police during the anti-vaccination demonstration today

The demonstrators stage a protest at Parliament Square in Westminster this afternoon

The demonstrators stage a protest at Parliament Square in Westminster this afternoon

The demonstrators stage a protest at Parliament Square in Westminster this afternoon

Protesters shout towards the Houses of Parliament during the demonstration in London today

Protesters shout towards the Houses of Parliament during the demonstration in London today

Protesters shout towards the Houses of Parliament during the demonstration in London today

It comes as Boris Johnson appealed to people to exercise their new freedoms with caution as most mandatory lockdown restrictions in England are finally lifted.

Social-distancing rules which, in one form or another, have governed people’s lives for over a year finally ended this morning at one minute past midnight.

Face masks are no longer mandatory in shops and on public transport, limits on gathering have gone and the work from home guidance has ended.

Nightclubs, theatres and restaurants can fully reopen, while pubs are no longer restricted to table service only. 








Protesters confront a police line at the Houses of Parliament during today's demonstration

Protesters confront a police line at the Houses of Parliament during today's demonstration

Protesters confront a police line at the Houses of Parliament during today’s demonstration

A demonstrator holds a sign up during the protest in Parliament Square this morning

A demonstrator holds a sign up during the protest in Parliament Square this morning

A demonstrator holds a sign up during the protest in Parliament Square this morning

A protester wearing a Matt Hancock mask calls for the former health secretary to be arrested

A protester wearing a Matt Hancock mask calls for the former health secretary to be arrested

A protester wearing a Matt Hancock mask calls for the former health secretary to be arrested

Activists hold signs with anti-vaccination and anti-police messages in Westminster today

Activists hold signs with anti-vaccination and anti-police messages in Westminster today

Activists hold signs with anti-vaccination and anti-police messages in Westminster today

A woman walks through Parliament Square where the demonstration is happening today

A woman walks through Parliament Square where the demonstration is happening today

A woman walks through Parliament Square where the demonstration is happening today

But with Covid-19 cases continuing to soar and renewed warnings about the pressure on the NHS, there was no mood of celebration in Government.

Mr Johnson is spending so-called ‘freedom day’ self-isolating at his official country residence at Chequers after being ‘pinged’ by NHS Test and Trace.

This follows a contact with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who subsequently tested positive for the virus on Saturday. 

Meanwhile businesses have warned of shortages on the shelves as the number of people off work after being pinged by the NHS Covid app continues to rise.   

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