THE Metropolitan Police has expressed “regret” over the arrests of six anti-monarchy protesters ahead of the King’s coronation after being threatened with legal action when no charges were brought.

Republic chief executive Graham Smith on Monday demanded a “full inquiry” into who authorised the arrests that prevented the group expressing their dissent during the “disgraceful episode”.

The force issued a lengthy defence as it confirmed Smith and five others have been told they face no further action after being arrested on Saturday and bailed.

It said it had arrested the group under new powers after it was believed items found alongside a large number of placards could be used as “lock on devices”.

“The investigation team have now fully examined the items seized and reviewed the full circumstances of the arrest,” a statement added.

“Those arrested stated the items would be used to secure their placards, and the investigation has been unable to prove intent to use them to lock on and disrupt the event.

“This evening all six have had their bail cancelled and no further action will be taken. We regret that those six people arrested were unable to join the wider group of protesters in Trafalgar Square and elsewhere on the procession route.”