A MEMBER of Labour’s shadow cabinet has said the party will “of course” rectify issues with anti-protest legislation but that they are not “into just wholesale repeal of legislation”.

It comes amid fierce criticism of Keir Starmer’s party after David Lammy said Labour would not repeal the Public Order Bill should they form a government after the next General Election.

Both the SNP and Green MP Caroline Lucas slammed Labour for their stance while ex-Labour MSP Neil Findlay said Lammy was “living in cloud cuckoo land” if he thought not repealing the legislation would help Labour’s bid to win an election.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy said: “We opposed the Public Order Act when it went through Parliament a few weeks ago and one of the specific concerns that we raised was about this particular part of the legislation about locking on.

“We don’t think it’s acceptable for people to start using devices to obstruct, to cause potential public safety risks, to chain themselves to ambulances for example would be completely unacceptable.”

However, she added that the legislation was so “widely drawn” it could have an adverse effect on “innocent people” trying to protest.

This comes after the Metropolitan Police expressed “regret” over the arrests of six anti-monarchy protesters ahead of the King’s coronation.

Republic chief executive Graham Smith, who was among those arrested, demanded a “full inquiry” into who authorised the arrests that prevented the group expressing their dissent during the “disgraceful episode”.

Nandy continued to say that it’s not clear whether “the problem is with the legislation or more operational” and a matter for the police.

“One of the questions we have is why was it that this group were clearly in contact with the Metropolitan Police, had informed them about their plans and yet still ended up arrested and prevented from protesting”, she added.

“If there is a problem with the legislation, of course we’ll rectify that in government but we’re not into just wholesale repeal of legislation without understanding what the actual problem is first.”

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The SNP have since responded to Nandy’s comments, saying the pro-Brexit Labour Party is “increasingly indistinguishable from the Tories”.

“The Tory government’s draconian anti-protest laws are undemocratic and must be repealed”, the SNP’s home affairs spokesperson Alison Thewliss said. 

“By clamping down on the right to protest, the right to strike, and by imposing unnecessary barriers to voting, the Tories are eroding the basic tenets of a free and democratic society. 

“It beggars belief that Keir Starmer is refusing to repeal these anti-democratic Tory laws. It’s no wonder people are questioning the point of a pro-Brexit Labour Party that is increasingly indistinguishable from the Tories on so many issues. 

“At the next election, voting SNP is the best way to beat the Tories in Scotland and a strong team of SNP MPs will get the best deal for Scotland, including defending our democratic rights.”

Meanwhile, UK Government minister Neil O’Brien said he believed the police did an “excellent job” at the coronation and insisted that they are “operationally independent”.

He said he didn’t want to “second guess” every decision the police made and that “doubtless mistakes will be made along the way”.

“Overall, I thought in a difficult situation the police did generally a very good job at keeping public order at the coronation.”