Crime bill: Lords defects for government’s protest clampdown plans
The government has suffered a series of defeats in the House of Lords over its plans to clamp down on disruptive and noisy protesters.
Opposition peers voted against a range of measures in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, with Labour calling some of the plans “outrageous”.
Peers also voted to make misogyny a hate crime in England and Wales.
No 10 said it was disappointed peers voted against measures to combat the “guerilla tactics” of some protesters.
■ What is the new police bill?
The bill now faces going back and forth between the Commons and Lords. The government is likely to continue fighting for its proposals.
The bill is a huge piece of legislation that covers major proposed changes on crime and justice in England and Wales.
The most controversial part of it is on the planned changes to protests – which the government proposed in response to environmental activists who have blocked roads, glued themselves to trains and stopped printing presses in recent years.
The government was hoping to get the Lords to support its proposals, but in a series of votes lasting until the early hours of Tuesday morning, peers repeatedly voted against the government.
Ministers were defeated, by 261 votes to 166, over plans to give the police new powers to stop protests in England and Wales if they are deemed to be too noisy and disruptive.
And the Lords also backed, by 238 votes to 171, a Liberal Democrat amendment to strip out the power to impose conditions on protests on noise grounds.
Asked if measures against noisy protests would be reintroduced in the Commons, Mr Raab told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We’ll look very carefully at all of that, but, yes, absolutely.
“In relation to noise, of course we support the right of peaceful and rambunctious protest, but it cannot be allowed to interfere with the lives of the law-abiding majority.”
The prime minister’s official spokesman said it would “reflect” on the votes before the bill returned to the Commons.
He added: “It is disappointing the Lords did not back the public order measures that will ensure the everyday lives of the overwhelming majority are not disrupted by a selfish minority of protesters whose actions endanger lives and cost the public millions of pounds.”