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20th Oct, 2021

Bromsgrove whistleblowing doctor slams Policing Bill as 'an attack on a right to protest'

Tristan Harris 18th Mar, 2021 Updated: 18th Mar, 2021

A BROMSGROVE doctor who was compared by Jacob Rees-Mogg to disgraced Dr Andrew Wakefield in the House of Commons and then went to Parliament to have his ‘right to reply’ said his actions would see him facing a ten-year jail term if the current Policing Bill’s laws were applied.

Dr David Nicholl has slammed the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which is currently going through Parliament, calling it an attack on democracy and a right to protest.

“These proposed laws are like something you would see in China or Burma and have no place in our UK democracy.”

Back in 2019, Dr Nicholl blew the whistle on the impact Brexit could have, warning if imported medicines people relied on were prevented from reaching Britain, it could lead to deaths – a genuine concern for many at that time.

Rees-Mogg’s comments were in response to those claims.

Referring to his one-man protest in 2019, Dr Nicholl said: “Because Jacob Rees-Mogg’s comments were made in the House of Commons, they were protected by Parliamentary privilege and I effectively had no right to reply.

“So I went to Parliament with my megaphone to put my point of view across – if this bill had gone through before that, I could have been facing a jail term of ten years.

“It feels like this legislation is taking us backwards.”

The Government claims it wants to widen the range of conditions the police can impose on static protests and even single-person protests to match existing police powers to impose conditions on marches.

It adds, through secondary legislation, the Home Secretary would be able to prevent communities or organisations having activities disrupted.

It has come under fire for preventing protests near Parliament in what the Government claims is to ‘protect vehicular access’ for MPs, peers and others conducting business.

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