Grumblings from the Tory backbenches are growing over the seemingly slow response to violent protesters seen over the past fortnight. Andrew Bridgen this afternoon tweeted he is looking forward to the same “swift justice” being applied to all those caught on camera vandalising statues that was seen with Andrew Banks, who urinated next to the memorial to PC Keith Palmer in Westminster. Other backbenchers tell Guido there cannot be an impression of unequal justice…
I am pleased that the man who urinated next to the memorial to PC Keith Palmer has been punished. I look forward to equally swift justice being delivered to those individuals caught on camera, vandalising statues and desecrating war memorials, justice delayed is justice denied.— Andrew Bridgen (@ABridgen) June 16, 2020
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt agrees, telling Guido that he praises the “swift” action against the man “urinated on the memorial to dedicated to PC Keith Palmer”. He went on to tell Guido it is “important that such swift action is taken against all those who have desecrated our war memorials and statues”. Mark Francois has gone one step further, telling Guido:
“We only enjoy a right of democratic protest in this country because people fought and in many cases died, to defend it. Anyone who desecrates a war memorial dishonours all those people fought for, so not only should we lock them up – we should melt down the key.”
Video evidence of those climbing on the cenotaph in an attempt to burn the Union Jack, as well as vandalising statues and other monuments is in abundance. One Tory MP tells Guido that the statue of Edward Colston was a Grade II listed structure – and that criminal damage to such statues ordinarily carries a maximum sentence of ten years under the Criminal Damage Act. Law and order Tory MPs are ramping up the pressure to prosecute.