RIOTERS who attacked police in Bristol during demonstrations against the new Police and Crime Bill will merely increase the likelihood of it becoming law, a Ian Liddell-Grainger has warned.
Sunday night’s scenes in the city have been making headlines around the world after police vehicles were set on fire, a police station attacked and a number of officers injured.
But Mr Liddell-Grainger, Conservative MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, said a peaceful demonstration had clearly been hijacked by people ‘who don’t know the difference between protest and thuggery’.
“What they are going to learn very soon is there is such a thing as shooting oneself in the foot because it’s very clear to me that as a result of Sunday night’s events everyone is more determined than ever to get this Bill onto the statute book,” he said.
Mr Liddell-Grainger said the provisions of the Bill had been drafted partly to give police greater powers to intervene in cases where Covid restrictions were being ignored and breached.
“I understand there are concerns about it but on the other hand no more than about a dozen of my constituents have raised the issue directly with me,” he said.
“We cannot tolerate anarchic scenes like this in one of our major cities. I may be no great fan of Avon and Somerset police but it is utterly intolerable that front-line police officers should be targeted with the level of violence that we all witnessed on Sunday.
“Everyone has a right to protest and demonstrate peacefully. But there seems to be a hard core of career troublemakers in this country who will seize any opportunity, use any pretext to launch violent attacks on the establishment.
“In this instance they have not merely wrecked a peaceful demonstration and tainted the name of Bristol they have merely strengthened the resolve of the Bill’s supporters to see it enshrined in law.”