THE anti-monarchy group Republic’s membership has almost doubled in the space of a week following the high-profile arrest of its chief executive Graham Smith.

Scotland Yard has expressed “regret” over the arrest of a group of protesters on the morning of the coronation on May 6.

Smith told The Observer that the group had benefited from more than £80,000 in donations and sales income over the last week and that it attracted thousands of new paying members.

Republic’s membership has almost doubled over just a few days, rising from about 5000 to 9000.

An anti-monarchy appeal saw its funds increase from £47,000 on the day of the coronation to more than £91,000.

It also separately received about £20,000 in donations, including one single donation of £10,000.

Smith admitted that despite the traumatic experience of being detained, there had been a “silver lining” in that his group had gained new supporters.

He said: “The response has been overwhelming. We’ve had tens of thousands of pounds coming and thousands of new supporters signing in. It’s put us front and centre.

“People understand it’s quite worrying if the law allows police to arrest the most peaceful of peaceful protests. I think it has done the police an awful lot of reputational damage. A lot of the coverage of the coronation was dominated by these arrests.”

The news about Republic comes as a poll revealed that almost nine in 10 people across the UK did not pledge allegiance to King Charles during the ceremony.

An Opinium poll for the newspaper showed that 57% of people in the UK did not pledge allegiance to the King at the coronation while a further 31% said they did not pledge but wouldn’t have minded doing so.

Smith also said Republic’s online shop had reported a boost in sales over the last week, with revenues of around £20,000.

That compares with typical weekly revenues ranging from a few hundred pounds to around £3000.

Police arrested 64 people on the day of the coronation, but faced criticism for their actions and were accused by a director of Human Rights Watch of “incredibly alarming” tactics over the detention of peaceful protesters.

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Anti-monarchy protesters were arrested under the new Public Order Act, which gives police powers to shut down protests before disruption.

The act was rushed through parliament on May 2, just a few days before the coronation took place.