THE anti-monarchy campaign group subject to police surveillance ahead of the coronation ceremony has contacted the Metropolitan Police asking for an explanation for why the force is spying on peaceful protesters.

It was revealed on Saturday in The Mirror that police have been profiling members of Republic – a group which calls for the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of an elected head of state – over fears they could disrupt the coronation ceremony on May 6.

During a peaceful protest in York Minister last Thursday, North Yorkshire police also admitted to filming the group. They claimed it was “standard practice” to ensure protests remained “lawful”.

Graham Smith, a spokesperson for Republic, announced that they had written to the police demanding an explanation.

READ MORE: Members of Republic being profiled by police ahead of coronation

He said: “The Met police has more important things to do than spy on peaceful protesters, including getting their own house in order and investigating serious accusations against Charles and Andrew.

“This will not deter us one bit and we have written to them demanding an explanation.

“We have had two meetings with the Met, which have been cordial, but at no stage were we told we would be subject to this kind of intrusion.

“We have gone out of our way to inform the police of our intentions and we’ve been prepared to cooperate with reasonable requests from them, but we reserve our right to peacefully protest.”

He added that the surveillance by the police would not impact the group’s plan for a protest in central London on the day of the coronation.

“None of our protests to date have caused any problems,” he said. “This is a complete waste of police resources and an infringement on the privacy and rights of protesters.

The National:

“We’re expecting at least a thousand people at our protest on Trafalgar Square on May 6. We will be loud, visible and unmissable, directly challenging the coronation and the monarchy.”

“We fully expect the police to live up to their assurances that the protest will be allowed to carry on, but these latest actions and previous arrests may well have a chilling effect on what is lawful and peaceful protest.”

“Republic has seen a huge jump in income over the past six months, with thousands more people supporting the campaign.

“With polls showing most people don’t care about the coronation and support for abolition of the monarchy now over 30% in some polls our protest promises to be the beginning of something much bigger.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We always seek proactive engagement with protest groups to understand what their intention is, and how we can work with them.”