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David Davis writes to police to express concern after anti-royal protester charged in Edinburgh

Former Secretary of State David Davis has written to police urging them to “continue to respect free speech” after an anti-royalist protester was charged.

A 22-year-old woman was arrested on Sunday after holding up an anti-monarchy placard in Edinburgh and subsequently charged with ‘speeding’.

The sign, which read ‘F**k Imperialism, Abolish Monarchy’, was seen among the crowd that had turned up to hear that King Charles had been formally proclaimed monarch.

Davis announced on Twitter last night that he has written to the Scotland Police Commissioner to express his “concern”.

He said in his letter that if the individual was merely “expressing an opinion,” a “liberal approach would be desirable.”

The former candidate for Tory leadership also pointed out that a second person had been charged since his letter was written.

A 22-year-old man was charged with disturbing the peace after a spectator harassed the Duke of York as he solemnly marched with a bereaved King Charles and their siblings behind their mother’s coffin in Edinburgh on Monday.

Meanwhile, another protester outside the Palace of Westminster showed her opposition to the new monarch when she held up a poster that read: ‘Abolish the Monarchy’ and ‘Not my King’.

David Davis writes to police to express concern after anti royal

Former Secretary of State David Davis has written to police urging them to “continue to respect free speech” after an anti-royalist protester was charged. A 22-year-old woman was arrested on Sunday after holding up an anti-monarchy placard (pictured) in Edinburgh and subsequently charged with ‘speeding’

Mr Davis (file photo) announced on Twitter last night that he has written to the Scotland Police Chief to express his 'concern'

Mr Davis (file photo) announced on Twitter last night that he has written to the Scotland Police Chief to express his 'concern'

Member of Parliament's letter

Member of Parliament's letter

Mr Davis (left, file photo) announced on Twitter last night that he has written to the Scotland Police Chief to express his ‘concern’. Right: the letter from the MP

In his letter to Chief Constable Sir Ian Livingstone, Mr Davis wrote: ‘It is not for me to interfere in the judicial process.

“However, with the arrival of our new monarch, I hope that the police will continue to respect the right to free speech.

‘If the person involved committed acts of violence, or the police had reason to believe that they would, action was of course necessary.

“But if the individual were simply expressing an opinion, I assume you would agree that a liberal approach would be desirable.

“I speak like a strong monarchist, but nevertheless I hope that the public will remain free to express their views and protest on issues they feel strongly about.”

Announcing that the 22-year-old woman had been charged, a Police Scotland spokesperson said on Monday: ‘A 22-year-old woman was arrested outside St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh on Sunday 11 September 2022 in connection with a breach of the peace.

The woman held up her plate as the Lord Lyon King of Arms (pictured with plumed hat), responsible for overseeing state ceremonies in Scotland, was formally proclaimed Charles King in Edinburgh

The woman held up her plate as the Lord Lyon King of Arms (pictured with plumed hat), responsible for overseeing state ceremonies in Scotland, was formally proclaimed Charles King in Edinburgh

The woman held up her plate as the Lord Lyon King of Arms (pictured with plumed hat), responsible for overseeing state ceremonies in Scotland, was formally proclaimed Charles King in Edinburgh

“She was charged and released on the condition that she appear before the Edinburgh Sheriff Court at a later date.”

She held up her plate as the Lord Lyon King of Arms, who are responsible for overseeing state ceremonies in Scotland, formally proclaimed Charles King in Edinburgh.

Monday morning, another protester showed her opposition to the new monarch when she held up a poster outside the Palace of Westminster that read ‘Abolish the Monarchy’ and ‘Not my King’.

The woman was led by Met Police officers away from the gates of Parliament, where King Charles and the Queen Consort received condolences from members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

She wore a T-shirt with the logo for the campaign to abolish the monarchy, which had called on people to protest against the new king in Parliament Square.

Thousands of people watched in almost silence as the Queen's coffin made its journey down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh on Monday

Thousands of people watched in almost silence as the Queen's coffin made its journey down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh on Monday

Thousands of people watched in almost silence as the Queen’s coffin made its journey down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh on Monday

A Met spokesman said: “A member of the public has been asked this morning to move away from the Carriage Gates outside the Palace of Westminster to facilitate the entry and exit of vehicles through the gates.

“She has not been arrested and has not been asked to leave the wider area.”

It comes after a man was filmed screaming at the embarrassed Prince Andrew as his mother’s hearse slowly ascended the Royal Mile from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral.

Footage showed the heckler being pushed to the ground by angry mourners as others in the crowd continued to shout “God Save the King.”

Meanwhile, in Oxford, a 45-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of ‘disorderly conduct’ after shouting ‘Who chose him?’ as Charles was proclaimed king. He was later arrested, Thames Valley police said.

Video shows a man yelling at the embarrassed Prince Andrew as his mother's hearse slowly ascended the Royal Mile in the Scottish capital towards St Giles' Cathedral.

Video shows a man yelling at the embarrassed Prince Andrew as his mother's hearse slowly ascended the Royal Mile in the Scottish capital towards St Giles' Cathedral.

1663149330 293 David Davis writes to police to express concern after anti royal

1663149330 293 David Davis writes to police to express concern after anti royal

Video shows a man yelling at the embarrassed Prince Andrew as his mother’s hearse slowly ascended the Royal Mile in the Scottish capital towards St Giles’ Cathedral. The footage shows the heckler being pushed to the ground by angry mourners while others in the crowd continue to shout “God Save the King.”

Over an image of his letter, Mr Davis said: ‘I wrote to the Scotland Police Commissioner yesterday to express my concern that an anti-monarchy protester has been charged by police. Since I wrote to him, a second protester has been charged.

“In a time of national mourning, we all need to make sure we behave with respect. But we must not sacrifice the principle of freedom of speech on which modern Britain is built.

“I’m a staunch monarchist, but Republicans have just as much right to express their views as anyone else.”