People's Vote march live: Left-wing group unveils 'Love socialism hate Brexit' banner

Article 50 protest

The banner is unfurled on Westminster Bridge (Image: Reuters)

Demonstrators calling for a second Brexit referendum later packed out Parliament Square, with rally hosts Mariella Frostrup and Richard Bacon telling them an initial count of demonstrators showed that the amount of people taking part in the march has topped one million, which if true which would eclipse the estimated 700,000 who attended a similar rally in October.

Large screens dotted along Whitehall told people how to text and tweet their support for the Put it to the People march.

Music was being played across the square where thousands of people gathered.

On a small stage on Whitehall, a group of people sang songs reworded with anti-Brexit lyrics.

Theresa May limbo

A placard pokes fun at Prime Minister Theresa May (Image: GETTY)

Travel chaos was reported as overcrowding caused stations to be shut down or made exit only.

Demonstrators are arriving in central London for the Put it to the People march on Parliament.

The banner stunt was organised by a group calling itself the “Left Bloc” which is supported by Labour MPs, including Clive Lewis and Kate Osamor, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, trade unions and grassroots campaigners.

In Parliament Square, Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson is expected to tell marchers that the only way to resolve the Brexit impasse is “for people themselves to sign it off”.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine and London mayor Sadiq Khan are also expected to take the stage.

Other speakers will include former Conservative cabinet minister Justine Greening and former attorney general Dominic Grieve, former Tory turned independent MP Anna Soubry, Lib Dem deputy leader Jo Swinson, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

Campaigners are arriving to the capital from across the country, with one taking on a 715-mile journey on ferries, trains and buses from Orkney in Scotland.

Student Sorcha Kirker, 27, will be joined by about 30 other students from the University of the Highlands and Islands.

People's Vote march

An EU supporter shouts slogans during the march (Image: Reuters)

Labour’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted a video of the countdown launching the Put it to the People march, with the London mayor holding up a banner at the front of demonstrators.

He wrote: “And we’re off!

“Here in London, thousands of people from across our city and country have come together with @peoplesvote_uk to send a clear message: Enough is enough – it’s time to give the British public the final say on Brexit. £PeoplesVote £PutItToThePeople.”

Green Park and Marble Arch were just two of the stations tube drivers refused to stop at due to the hoards of demonstrators.

The pandemonium at Green Park was compounded by someone pressing the emergency stop button on the escalators, according to one irate conductor.

Traffic on Oxford Street backed up as protesters spilled into the road on their way to Park Lane, where the march started at 1pm, amid a jovial atmosphere.

Marchers in central London

Marchers in central London head for Parliament Square (Image: Daily Express)

Millie Hill from Gloucestershire told Express.co.uk: “I hate everything about Brexit. I don’t want to be the old Britain. I want to be open.”

James Hyson from Hampshire added: “I believe in the solidarity of people and I attribute the peace and prosperity of the last half century to the Union.”

Riley Alexandre, part of a group of students Pride Society from Falmouth and Exeter University: “I was 17 when the referendum happened and never had a chance to vote. We were never asked and it’s our future that will be affected.”

People's Vote march

An EU supporter dressed in costume on her way to the march in central London (Image: Reuters)

The London march coincides with pro-Brexit campaigners continuing their long hike from the North East to the capital.

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage re-joined the March to Leave when it set off from Linby, near Nottingham, on Saturday morning.

Saturday’s demonstrations follow EU leaders agreeing to delay Brexit to give Prime Minister Theresa May a final chance to get her deal through Parliament.

Leaders agreed to extend Brexit to May 22 if Mrs May can get MPs to back her deal in the Commons at the third time of asking.

People's Vote march

One million people could join the march, estimates suggest (Image: Reuters)

If the vote is not passed, the UK will have to set out an alternative way forward by April 12, which could mean a much longer delay – with the UK required to hold elections to the European Parliament – or leaving without a deal at all.

An online petition demanding the Government stops the Brexit process had topped four million signatures by Saturday morning.

The march is happening on the same day a petition calling for the revocation of Article 50 has soared past the four million mark.

Bookmakers have slashed the odds of the petition hitting five million by midnight, as well as the chances of Article 50 being revoked by the end of the year.

Chuka Umunna Anna Soubry

Independent Group MPs Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry pose for a selfie (Image: Reuters)

William Hill cut the price of the petition reaching 5 million votes by midnight to 5/4, down f from 5/2. 

Meanwhile it is 2/1 that Article 50 is revoked before the end of the year.

William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams said: “As of 9.20 this morning the Petition has hit 4 million and we believe it has a great chance of getting to 5 million today.

”Seeing the support we might just have to trim the price of Article 50 actually being revoked.”

(Additional reporting by Katie Whitfield)


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