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Arrests after clashes in Parliament Square leave police injured

Arrests after clashes in Parliament Square leave police injured
The Metropolitan Police said the injuries were ‘unacceptable’, though a number of officers have remained in Whitehall

Protesters have been arrested following clashes with police in Parliament Square that left a number of officers injured.

Fireworks were fired at police officers during The Million Mask March protest on Bonfire Night, and the Metropolitan Police confirmed 12 arrests had been made, for a variety of offences, while eight officers were left injured.

An effigy of the prime minister, Boris Johnson, was set on fire at Trafalgar Square where crowds, some wearing Guy Fawkes masks, had gathered in the early evening.

Many of the protesters held signs protesting against the Covid lockdown restrictions, which were fully lifted months ago, while others pushed an anti-vaccination rhetoric.

Met Police confirmed they had been “dangerously lighting fireworks and rockets”, some of which “struck people or exploded near to the crowd”.

It issued a dispersal order just before 9pm for a number of areas across Westminster.

Ahead of the march, the Met Police said it would “work closely” with the group to minimise disorder and ensure safety.

It confirmed officers would be equipped with specialist public order uniforms, and a number of protective barriers would be placed across locations in central London.

Guy Fawkes night events in Scotland saw three firefighters attacked, one of whom required hospital treatment though the extent of their injuries is not known.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service urged the public to respect its staff, with Chief Officer Martin Blunden tweeting: “Less than two hours into bonfire night and three attacks so far with one of these requiring a visit to hospital.

“Please do not attack Scottish Fire and Rescue Service firefighters who are only doing their job.

“In fact, why attack any emergency service worker when we are here to protect you from harm?”