Brexit protests today: Major street demonstrations across the country as row continues over prorogued Parliament

Thousands have gathered in cities across the UK as part of a nationwide protest against Boris Johnson’s controversial plans to suspend Parliament

Protesters took to the streets in cities including London, York and Belfast to demonstrate against the planned shutdown, ahead of the October 31 deadline. 

In London, large-scale protests brought Whitehall to a standstill, as chants of “shame on you” rung out around Government buildings. 

The clanging of a bell, the blowing of whistles and bangs of a drum could also be heard, as hundreds marched through Westminster, waving placards and European Union flags.

Anti-Brexit protestors hold signs as they demonstrate at Whitehall (REUTERS)

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott addressed the London protesters from a stage near Downing Street, while John McDonnell also spoke to the crowd. 

The Shadow Chancellor said: “It is a fight to protect our democracy – we know what Boris Johnson is up to, it is not very subtle is it?

“He wants to close down our democracy and force through a no-deal Brexit.”

Footage shows huge crowds for Brexit protest

Mr McDonnell said previous generations fought and made huge sacrifices, some giving their lives, in the fight for parliamentary democracy so they could “have their say over policies and the future of our country”.

He added: “Boris Johnson, this is not about Parliament versus the people, this is about you versus the people.”

There are 32 #StoptheCoup planned protests taking place across the UK organised by anti-Brexit campaign group Another Europe Is Possible.

Protesters in York take part in a demonstration (PA)

Left-wing group Momentum called on its members to “occupy bridges and blockade roads” in conjunction with unrest on the streets.

Demonstrators gathered outside Oxford University’s Balliol College, which was attended by Mr Johnson, to express their displeasure about his handling of Brexit.

More than 1,000 protesters also gathered in cities including Manchester, Bristol and Newcastle.

Anti Brexit protesters from ‘Stop the Coup’ movement outside Downing Street (AP)

Protests are also taking place in cities including Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, Swansea, Leeds and Aberdeen.

They are also being held in towns including Bodmin in Cornwall and Clitheroe in Lancashire.

Further mass demonstrations, organised by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, are planned to take place on Tuesday to coincide with MPs returning to Westminster.

Protesters gathered in York (PA)

And the annual Westminster Dog of the Year competition, due to take place on Thursday, has been cancelled over safety concerns of the dogs and MPs taking part .

Both pro and anti-Brexit protesters clashed on Wednesday after the Queen approved an order that will see Parliament suspended for more than one month .

Laura Parker, Momentum’s national co-ordinator, called the proroguing of Parliament a “loophole in our flawed democracy”.

“There are thousands of people from all over the UK and across the political spectrum who will protest to stop Johnson closing the doors on our democracy,” she said.

“No-one voted for this, and it’s clear we need to urgently redesign our system to rebalance power away from the top.”

The Jo Cox Foundation, which was set up in the wake of the Labour MP’s murder in 2016, warned that anger over Brexit “should not spill over into something more dangerous”.

The foundation said: “We believe strongly in freedom of speech. But we would urge everybody to avoid saying or doing anything that could incite or lead to violence.”

The calls for protests come as a petition against the Prime Minister’s plan to suspend Parliament racked up more than 1.64 million signatures early on Saturday morning.


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