Four arrested at pro-Palestinian march

Four people have been arrested on suspicion of public order offences at a pro-Palestinian march in central London, the Metropolitan Police said.

One man has been arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence relating to a placard, while three more were held on suspicion of breaching Public Order Act conditions imposed on the march, the force said on X.

Tens of thousands of protesters called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for the first time under the new Labour Government in central London on Saturday.

The march, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, formed in Russell Square before following a route through the city and ending with speeches near Portcullis House.

Previous versions of the march which have taken place regularly since October had ended at Whitehall.

A group of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered opposite Downing Street and was marshalled by Met officers, despite the conditions requiring the protest to remain on the Victoria Embankment.

Jeremy Corbyn, re-elected as an independent MP for Islington North on Friday, was among those in attendance at the demonstration.

The former Labour leader told protesters on stage: “Palestine was on the ballot in this election – and I promise to stay true to my word to stand up for the Palestinian people.

“We said it to the Tories, and now we will say it to Labour: a government that sells arms to Israel is a government that is complicit in crimes against humanity.

“A change in government doesn’t change the facts that the people of Gaza are still being murdered in their sleep.

Independent MP Jeremy Corbyn addresses a march in central London organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Independent MP Jeremy Corbyn addresses a march in central London organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Tejas Sandhu/PA)

“And it doesn’t change the fact that there is only one path to a just and lasting peace: an end to the occupation of Palestine.”

Speaking to the PA news agency afterwards, Mr Corbyn suggested the pro-Palestinian marches had directly influenced the results of the general election.

He said: “The Labour vote was lower on Thursday than it was in 2019 and 2017, and Labour lost seats to independents – five independents were elected.

“The common thread running through their campaigns was Gaza.”

Police had also been prepared for a rumoured Just Stop Oil protest to be held in Parliament Square, which did not appear to take place.

Around 700 Met officers were due to be on duty in London over the weekend, the force said.