Anna Soubry 'too scared to speak at Brexit rally'

Demonstrators remonstrate with police officers on Parliament Square (Picture: AFP/Getty)


Anti-Brexit MP Anna Soubry has said she was too frightened to speak at a rally outside Parliament during angry protests in central London.

Police on horseback intervened as two groups of pro and anti-Brexit supporters gathered on Parliament Square in Westminster on Saturday.

About 200 people joined a pro-Brexit demonstration organised by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) while anti-Brexit group March for Change held their own protest.

As March for Change began to set up their rally, some members of the DFLA approached and began shouting.

A beer can was thrown towards about 10 people from the March for Change protest, before police intervened to stop the clash escalating.

Protesters clashed in central London (Picture: Getty)

March for Change organisers said they had cancelled plans to float a Boris Johnson-shaped “blimp” due to the likelihood it would become a target.

Ms Soubry, leader of the Independent Group for Change, told organisers she was too frightened to speak due to intimidation from the counter-protests held by the DFLA.

She said: “I don’t know what I’m going to do.

“It’s awful but there’s also a side of me that thinks that this is our country.

“I’m a parliamentarian and I have a right to speak and I shouldn’t be frightened but it’s very, very, very disturbing, and I’m very frightened actually.”

After consulting with the police and protest organisers, Ms Soubry left the rally, telling officers she did not want to cause additional issues for them as they monitored both events.

Police stand on duty around a statue of war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Picture: AFP/Getty)
Problems started when a beer can was thrown by one side (Picture: Getty)

Speakers at the event included Labour MP Diane Abbott and Green Party co-leader Sian Berry.

Ms Berry praised the work of opposition MPs for proposing and passing a Bill to prevent a no-deal Brexit prior to the suspension of Parliament.

Addressing the pro-Brexit protesters on the other side of the square, she said: “That’s why they’re here today, they know they’re losing.”

During speeches, the crowd of several hundred people started cheers of “bollocks to Brexit” and “bollocks to Boris”.

Rows of police, including officers on horseback, stood between the two groups of pro and anti-Brexit protesters.

Some members of the protest organised by the DFLA were seen throwing eggs at people filming them.