Met Police seeks second appeal on ruling of Sarah Everard vigil

Reclaim These Streets founders (l-r) Henna Shah, Jamie Klingler, Anna Birley and Jessica Leigh

Reclaim These Streets founders (l-r) Henna Shah, Jamie Klingler, Anna Birley and Jessica Leigh - Credit: PA

The Metropolitan Police is seeking a second bid to challenge the High Court’s ruling that officers breached the rights of organisers of the Sarah Everard vigil in 2021.

Earlier this month, judges refused the Met permission to appeal against its March ruling, which concluded that officers breached the rights of vigil organisers with its handling of the planned event in March 2021.

However, Scotland Yard confirmed on Friday evening that they are now seeking permission from the Court of Appeal to challenge the High Court decision.

The campaign Reclaim These Streets group, which organised the event, criticised the force earlier on Friday.

The group tweeted: “We can now announce that @metpoliceuk are spending more taxpayer money to continue to fight us in court.

“Despite the High Court’s vehement rejection of their “hopeless” application for permission to appeal, they are now trying to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

“Will it never end?”

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The Met said its appeal is not focused on the policing of the vigil itself but decisions and communications with Reclaim These Streets ahead of the event.

In a statement, the force said: “The reason we’re appealing this case is that we believe there are important points of principle around the role of police in advising organisers ahead of a proposed event and whether that should involve an assessment of the importance of the cause.

“We believe that clarity around these issues is of the utmost importance both for citizens and their right to free expression, and for the police in how they enforce legal restrictions while remaining neutral to the cause behind the event itself.

“This appeal is not about the policing of the vigil itself, but about the decisions and communications with Reclaim These Streets ahead of the planned event last March.

“As an organisation we work with, support and police hundreds of protests and events across London every month and take our responsibilities very seriously. We welcome and fully accept the important principles of scrutiny and challenge into this area of policing.”