A man was seen urinating by the memorial to murdered officer PC Keith Palmer as tensions flared between police and far-right groups in the capital today.
Mr Palmer was tragically killed as he protected Parliament from a terrorist attack on 22 March, 2017.
Pictures show a man relieving himself right next to Palmer’s plaque which was erected outside the Palace of Westminster last February.
At the time, then Speaker of the House John Bercow said it would serve ‘as a lasting tribute to his dedication and his courage’ and ensure visitors would ‘never forget the sacrifice and heroism of this brave British police officer.’
Tobias Ellwood, the Tory MP and chairman of the Defence Select Committee who gave first aid to the dying police officer at the time of the attack, wrote on Twitter: ‘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.’
The PC Palmer plaque is a short walk away from the statue of Winston Churchill, which was boarded up to protect it from vandalism as a debate rages across Britain over whether or not to tear down monuments of people who held racist views or played a part in slavery.
Football hooligans, veterans and far-right groups have vowed to ‘defend’ memorials over another weekend of anti-racism demonstrations.
Today, far-right groups in London allegedly launched attacks on police, with footage online showing bottles and cans being forcefully hurled at officers. Some witnesses claim smoke canisters were also lobbed.
A press photographer is said to have suffered a broken nose in a confrontation with some protesters, with the BBC’s Dominic Casciani alleging that ‘anyone who is thought to be media is also being threatened’.
Officers on horseback wearing riot gear are said to have pushed demonstrators back from the other end of Parliament Square, near the boarded-up statues of Churchill as well as Nelson Mandela and Gandhi.
Metropolitan Police have told those joining today’s anti-racism demonstrations they must be off the streets by 5pm in an attempt to avoid violent clashes with other groups.
Black Lives Matter had already cancelled a planned demonstration in central London on Saturday, warning that ‘many hate groups’ were threatening the safety of those coming.
Sadiq Khan urged Londoners to stay at home, saying the potential for disorder over the next few days is ‘very real’, with the far-right ‘organising counter-protests in London in the hope of provoking violence and discrediting a legitimate cause’.
Hundreds of people gathered around the Winston Churchill statue this morning, which was daubed with the word ‘racist’ last Sunday.
Britain First leader Paul Golding was pictured at the scene, along with members of right-wing movement Democratic Football Lads Alliance (FLA) and far-right Islamophobic organisation English Defence League.
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