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Sadiq Khan sends message to anti-royal protesters on GMB

Sadiq Khan says to anti-royalist protesting 'Is this the best way?'

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has questioned the logic behind anti-royal protests, claiming the disruptions in the midst of mass mourning will only hurt their campaign. Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Mr Khan told Kate Garraway that while the right to protest is a “cornerstone of democracy,” it will weaken the republican cause to do so at the Queen’s funeral. There are concerns that public protests could spoil the Queen’s state funeral on Monday, which will be broadcast around the world and attended by world leaders.

Mr Khan responded to the concerns: “The right to protest and free speech are cornerstones of our democracy.

“It’s not a criminal offence to be disrespectful or campaign in bad taste.”

However, the London Mayor questioned whether the Queen’s funeral is the right time for such a demonstration.

He said: “What I would say to anti-monarchists who want to campaign for a republic, is this the best way to get more people on your side?

“To protest at a time when there is an outpouring of grief, sorrow and affection towards Her Majesty and the Royal Family.”

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He went on to advise those coming to London for the funeral on Monday to prepare in advance.

Mr Khan explained the operation in place to accommodate the well-wishers: “There are eight big screens in Hyde Park for the overflow.

“There are stands in place, there are places in the footprint to see the procession after the funeral

“We have to make sure everyone is safe. If parts of the footprint are full, they will be sign-posted to other parts of the footprint.

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“We are working hard to ensure people have a view of Her late Majesty’s coffin from wherever they are.”

Mr Khan insisted authorities responsible for managing the funeral have been “working for years” to prepare for the event and London will not be at “full capacity” on Monday.

Earlier this week, a former head of public order at the Metropolitan police warned that the Queen’s funeral presents the biggest security challenge the UK has ever faced.

Bob Broadhurst said the authorities faced “headaches” ranging from terror threats to protests to crowd collapses.

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King Charles III is expected to face silent protests from anti-monarchy groups during his visit to Wales today.

The demonstration is expected to begin at 1pm, ahead of the King’s arrival, according to organisers from campaign group, Real Democracy Now.

Former Welsh parliament member for Plaid Cymru, Bethan Sayed, said the group felt “compelled” to respond to the announcement that Prince William had succeeded Charles as Prince of Wales “so soon after the death of the Queen”.

Ms Sayed then dismissed the idea that “now is not the time to discuss this issue,” insisting that “now is exactly the time to discuss this matter”.

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