sharp criticism of the planned police law

aAutocratic, reactionary, oppressive: British police employed in the House of Lords Criticism of possible restrictions on freedom to demonstrate through legislation could hardly have been more scathing. Members of the House of Lords defeated Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government by one vote on Tuesday night.

The Lords with a large majority rejected several clauses of the proposed new Police Act draft. For example, it provides for significant restrictions on protests if the police consider them to be noisy nuisances or blocking traffic routes.

“Serious challenge to human rights”

With the “Police, Crime, Punishment and Courts Bill,” the Johnson government seeks to replace the climate and anti-racism protests that have hit the headlines in recent years. The bill went through the final stages in the upper house on Tuesday night – and should then return to the lower house. The government is expected to largely reverse the changes to the Commons of the Lords. Usually the House of Lords gives way in this matter.

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Critics fear that vague rules and powers to police could make any demo illegal to breach. If one cannot express their disapproval of the government’s actions with street noise, “human rights are seriously at stake,” John Gummer, a member of the Conservative House of Lords, said during a debate on Monday evening. The Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, who also sits in the House of Lords, referred to Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, who were honored with statues installed in the square in front of the British Parliament: their opposition, Baines said, would not can be done under the circumstances.

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