Move to extend police protest powers ruled unlawful

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An attempt by the government to widen police powers over protests has been ruled unlawful by the High Court.

Legislation introduced last year under ex-home secretary Suella Braverman gave officers more leeway to stop disruption.

But two judges have now ruled that the Home Office acted outside of its powers, and did not properly consult on the move.

The department has told the court it plans to appeal against the ruling.

An order to quash the legislation has been put on hold whilst the appeal process takes place.

Campaign group Liberty, which brought the case, has called for police to refrain from using the powers until the appeal has been heard.

In a statement, it called the ruling a “victory for democracy” that showed the government “cannot step outside of the law to do whatever it wants”.

The regulations, passed by MPs in June last year, lowered the threshold for what protest activity counts as “serious disruption” in England and Wales.

It was controversial at the time because the changes had already been rejected in the House of Lords six months before that.

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