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THOSE just emerging from the merry haze of the coronation may be shocked to read reports six members of the UK’s leading anti-monarchy group – including its leader – were arrested on what appears to be fairly spurious grounds on the big day.

All were released without charge and it's been said they were nicked for carrying luggage tags.

The Metropolitan Police said officers thought they were going to use them to “lock on”, i.e. tie themselves to stuff to hold up the arrest process. The activists said the tags were to hold together their placards.

Disturbing images emerged of police officers seizing bundles of those placards from a van and Republic leader Graham Smith was arrested.

All six Republic members have since been released and Scotland Yard expressed “regret” over the arrests.

But now a group of MPs (the Home Affairs select committee) will investigate the arrests. Committee chair Diana Johnson, a Labour MP, said the arrests threw up “real questions” about the new Public Order Act – which gives police in England powers to smother protests, even if they haven’t started yet. 

The MPs will meet a week today to probe the policing of the event and take evidence from witnesses.

Publisher ‘sorry’ to prince

Prince Harry received an apology of sorts from the publisher of the Daily Record, the Daily Mirror and the Sunday People.

In a hearing at the High Court earlier today, Andrew Green, representing the Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), said the firm “unreservedly apologises” to Harry after it emerged a private dick was paid a pitiful £75 (£126.28 in today’s money) spy on him at a VIP London nightclub in 2004. 

But that didn’t stop the firm from continuing to defend itself against other allegations about its conduct.

Some, Green argues, are denied by MGN and the company has also said some shouldn’t count because the claims have been brought too late.

Harry’s lawyer David Sherborne, who readers may remember from the Wagatha Christie trial, has said the duke has been subjected throughout his life “to the most intrusive methods of obtaining his personal information”.

This includes allegations of phone-hacking, something MGN has denied.