AMNESTY International UK have urged MPs to follow the House of Lords and reject the “deeply authoritarian” provisions of the new policing bill as it returns to the Commons for debate on Monday.

In January, the UK Government’s hopes for the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill were dealt a serious blow by the House of Lords, which rejected a number of measures included in the bill, including suspicionless stop-and-search related to protest and ‘Serious Disruption Prevention Orders’, which would effectively ban specific protests.

However, there is still the possibility that certain controversial measures may become law if they are not defeated by MPs, including the creation of a "buffer zone" around parliament, giving police the power to impose noise-based restrictions on protests, the criminalisation of one-person protests and new restrictions on public assembly.

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Ahead of the Bill returning to parliament for MPs to reconsider the Lords’ amendments, over 800,000 people have signed a petition against the Bill coordinated by human rights groups, environmentalists and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller advocates, while over 350 charities have signed a letter calling for the Bill to be scrapped.

Amnesty UK’s CEO Sacha Deshmukh commented: “The extensive cross-party opposition from the Lords shows the Government got it wrong on this one and MPs should reject the deeply authoritarian provisions of this Bill, which fly in the face of the values and historic liberties of this country.

“The right to protest is fundamental to a free and fair society. Protest is a cherished part of British history - from the anti-slavery movement, to the suffragettes and recent anti-war marches.

“The police simply do not need vast new powers to arrest ordinary people exercising their right to protest.”

Deshmukh continued: “This bill will also further entrench racism and discrimination in British policing.

“A huge expansion in stop-and-search powers is likely to have hugely disproportionate impacts on Black people, who are already much more likely to be stopped and searched, to be Tasered or even to die in police custody.

“We hope to see MPs standing up for the basic rights and freedoms of their constituents by rejecting this dangerous power grab”.

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Three UN special rapporteurs have warned that the Bill could threaten our rights, while Parliament’s own Joint Committee on Human Rights described its proposals as “oppressive and wrong.”

Additionally over 600 health and social care professionals have warned that the new policing provisions in the Bill would require them to breach confidentiality and put young people’s safety at risk, while over 80 leaders in LGBT+ advocacy have said that the Bill threatens progress made towards LGBT+ equality.

Following the House of Lords’ vote last month, Liberty director Martha Spurrier commented: “The Bill, and the last minute amendments they tried to sneak through, are typical of a government that despises scrutiny and rejects accountability, which thinks the powerful should be above the law, even if it comes at the expense of everybody else’s human rights.”