Senior Tory MP Lee Anderson has drawn ire for urging anti-monarchy activists to “emigrate” rather than exercise their right to protest.

The Conservative Party’s deputy leader commented on dozens of arrests of protesters during the King’s Coronation Day.

The Metropolitan Police have been criticized after more than 50 people were arrested on alleged racketeering, public nuisance and offenses against the peace, a move described by human rights organizations as “setting a dangerous precedent for us as a democratic nation”.

But Mr Anderson appeared to side with the police, particularly against protesters who held up signs reading “Not My King” near Buckingham Palace.

Sharing an article about the arrests on Twitter, Mr Anderson wrote: “Not my king?

“If you don’t want to live in a country that has a monarchy, the solution is to not show up with your stupid boards.

“The solution is to emigrate.”

Critics on social media denounced his “anti-democratic” remarks and pointed to the right to peaceful protest, while others supported his opinion.

A protester holds a placard reading 'Not My King' in Trafalgar Square

A protester holds up a placard reading ‘Not My King’ in Trafalgar Square (PA).

Jonathan Harris, a Lib Dem councilor in west Northamptonshire, tweeted: “30 p Lee – Idiot on display. They have stripped Brits of their right to live and work across the EU, forgetting that great democracies are built on it and absolutely allow the right to peaceful protest.”

Interior Secretary Suella Braverman later praised the police.

She tweeted: “I am incredibly grateful to the police for all their hard work at today’s coronation ceremony to ensure it was safe and without incident.”

But Labor Party Jess Phillips, a shadow Home Secretary, wrote: “Our nation and our King are not so fragile that they are unable to endure harmless protest against a different view.”

Former Labor Secretary Sir Chris Bryant said: “Freedom of expression is the silver thread that runs through a parliamentary constitutional monarchy.”

It’s not the first time Mr Anderson, the Ashfield MP, has proved controversial after previously calling for the return of the death penalty and claiming people on Universal Credit are not in poverty.

He was nicknamed “30p Lee” for claiming meals could be prepared for that sum and suggesting that people who use food banks don’t have a budget.

Mr Anderson recently clashed with Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley over the force’s handling of protests, urging him to “come down from his ivory tower” to deal with protesters in Westminster.

Under the controversial new public order law, protesters who have an object to ‘lock up’ face a fine and those who block roads face 12 months in prison.


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