PEDESTRIANISE PARLIAMENT SQUARE – TYLER

Liberal Democrat Peer, Lord Tyler, has dismissed calls from some Conservatives for legislation to prevent protest encampments.

In a blog piece, “Don’t legislate.  Pedestrianise”, he sets out the case for creating a Speaker’s Corner outside Parliament, and improving pedestrian access.

Speaking in the House of Lords on Thursday, Lord Tyler, recommended that Peers read the recent blueprint proposed for such a democratic space, in A Place for People:  Proposals for Enhancing Visitor Engagement with Parliament’s Environs”, and press for it to be implemented.  He called on the Government to “avoid a knee-jerk, piecemeal and authoritarian response on this issue”.

Commenting afterwards, he said,

“It’s typical of old-style Conservatives to reach for new laws to quash protest, rather than make new spaces to permit it.

“Protest is a legitimate part of politics, and it’s just ridiculous to dismiss it as ‘unsightly’ because those with a grievance don’t pack up and go back to plush Westminster pads overnight.

“Parliament Square has the potential to be a real, live, democratic space in which citizens can again engage with their Parliament.  Our reaction to the disruptive protests around St Paul’s should be to make that a reality, not to legislate for silence.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:  You can see the full exchanges in the House of Lords here

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