Ministers are retaining powers to decide which protests will be allowed, Labour is warning – despite claiming to be lifting the controversial ban.
The small print of new Covid-19 regulations – to be approved by MPs later today – will allow the government to pick “what is allowed” when demonstrations are planned, the party said.
Organisers must show they are “taking into account any guidance issued by the government which is relevant to the gathering”, the new rules say.
“It means the government by guidance – which could be general, or could be specific to a particular protest – could determine what is allowed,” Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s health spokesman warned.
He urged ministers to clarify what they meant before MPs vote, amid the outcry over the new Policing Bill which will outlaw “noisy protests” and impose other restrictions.