Police clashed with protesters as they marched in central London chanting ‘not my Prime Minister’ in despair over Boris Johnson’s landslide election win on Friday.
Demonstrators, brandishing signs that read ‘Defy Tory Rule’ and ‘Refugees Welcome’, walked at speed from outside Johnson’s Downing Street residence to Trafalgar Square.
The Mirror reports police had to separate some demonstrators who clashed with pro-brexiteers.
Videos on social media show a huge crowds puhsing against the police, who had their battons drawn. One showed police with trying to push back protesters on Parliament Street, striking out at people as they warned ‘get back or you will get hit’.
Eyewitnesses at the scene described the protests as ‘chaotic.’ At least one demonstrator’s face was bloodied during the brief exchange, the Guardian reports.
Roads around Whitehall were closed as protesters made their way to other parts of Central London. Separate marches were organised by Stand up to Racism, Love Music Hate Racism and Antifascist Action (Antifa), who were confronted by pro-government groups.
Damien Gayle, a Guardian reporter, said there have been confrontations between left protesters and right wing supporters of Boris Johnson outside Downing Street.
One anti-boris protester told him: ‘I’m crestfallen and I’m p*ssed off. But this is day one, this is the start; I’m not going to be browbeaten.’ He said the police response ‘seems chaotic as protesters march at random around Westminster backstreets.’ Not arrests have been made but police were seen escorting some protesters away from the scene.
Protesters cried ‘Save our NHS; as police sealed them in on Victoria Street, and sat on the floor as officers formed a line to block off the scene.
Boris Johnson won a comfortable 74 seat majority as voters backed his promise to ‘get Brexit done’ and take the country out of the European Union by 31 January next year.
Despite making the biggest gains for the Tory party since Margaret Thatcher’s victory in 1987, protesters have taken to the streets holding banners stating ‘Boris Johnson not my Prime Minister’.
Other placards said ‘say no to racism’ and ‘vote Conservative to end the NHS’. The chaos brought traffic to a halt in Haymarket. Protesters brandished anti-racist placards outside.
The PM urged the nation to ‘let the healing begin’ in his first speech as the UK’s re-elected prime minister.
Speaking outside Downing Street after his landslide election win, he said he hoped the results of last night’s vote will help ‘everyone to find closure’. He said he will work to ‘unite and level up’ the whole of the UK under his ‘one nation Conservative government’ to lead us out of the EU by the end of January.
The PM thanked everyone who again voted Conservative and to those who did for the first time whose ‘pen might have wavered’ over the ballot paper. He added that it had become clear to him during the campaign that ‘the overwhelming priority of the British people is that we should focus, above all, on the NHS’.
Demonstrations also took place in Glasgow. Huge crowds marched through the streets shouting ‘Boris Johnson’s got to go’.
Whitehall was closed after trouble flared up outside the Treasury.
- Top Feature Photo: Reuters