AN SNP MP has called for a debate on the “thought police” in response to the Tories’ new anti-protest laws which resulted in the arrest of republican protesters at the coronation.

Deirdre Brock, the SNP’s shadow Commons leader, took aim at the Government during business questions on Thursday over the Public Order Act – which gives police sweeping powers to crack down on protests, even before they have begun.

The MP compared it to the sinister law enforcement portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984 novel, after members of the anti-monarchy group Republic and others were arrested on Saturday during the King’s coronation.

The Metropolitan Police subsequently released Republic members and said the arrests were regrettable.

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Teasing Mordaunt for her “commendable upper body strength” on Saturday – in which the Leader of the House was required to carry a nearly 4ft-long sword for upwards of an hour, Brock asked: “Did the Leader’s somewhat authoritarian look on Saturday reflect the new and unnerving Braverman law which apparently allows for arresting people even for thinking about protesting.

The National: Lord President of the Council Penny Mordaunt held ceremonial swords for more than an hour (Victoria Jones/PA)

“So can we have a debate on the thought police and on whether guidance for that hastily-delivered Act might be tightened up after those recent unfortunate arrests.”

Mordaunt replied: “She raises the issue of protests and I would just say to all members of this house, we make the laws in this place and we have brought in new measures because we felt that the public need protection from particularly disruptive and dangerous protests as we’ve seen in recent events and developments.

“But the police are operationally independent. They need to use their judgment, sometimes they will make mistakes and when they do, as we have seen, they apologise for them. And I think all of that is incredibly reassuring.”