FORMER Tory MP Ann Widdecombe has praised the Metropolitan Police for its arrest of protesters on the day of the coronation.

In total, 64 arrests were made, including the CEO of leading anti-monarchy group Republic.

Commander Karen Findlay has said that the force “understands public concerns” but that there was a duty to police protests “in line with the relevant legislation”.

During an appearance on GB News, Widdecombe was asked if the police were “over-zealous”.

She replied: “Ask yourself this question. If just one, and don’t forget there weren’t just anti-monarchists, there was the eco-oil people and all the rest of them there as well.

“Just ask yourself this question. If just one of those demonstrators from whichever group had glued themselves to a road or had spooked the horses with a megaphone, if just one of them had done that, the uproar would have been enormous – ‘what were the police doing, the police had all the time in the world to prepare for it, the police have got new powers’.

“Because the police were absolutely determined that that was not going to happen and that they were going to take immediate action if they saw people with megaphones or what they thought were attachments, if that’s what they decided to do, they did it splendidly and my attitude towards it is what happened at the coronation is to say to the police: ‘Congratulations, now do it again.’

“Because normally, they go there and offer the protesters tea. Do it again constables. Do it again.”

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This comes after a senior Labour MP confirmed the party would not repeal the Tories anti-protest legislation if they form a government after the next General Election.

The UK Government rushed through the Public Order Bill ahead of the King’s coronation. The new legislation includes a 12-month prison sentence for protesters who block a road and a six-month sentence for anyone who locks on to others, a building, or an object.

Widdecombe added: “It [the coronation] has been so wonderful. It’s very difficult to say one bit is any more wonderful than the other.

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“I think the picture of the King when he got, what I call the bits and pieces which is a bit disrespectful, he got the orb, he got the sceptre and he was sitting there with the medieval robe on.

“And it was a moment when you could have been looking at any king in history and I think that was a wonderful moment.”