Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020

‘One million’ People’s Vote protesters march to call for Brexit ‘final say’

More than a million protesters crammed into the streets of central London to fight for a second EU referendum as Boris Johnson suffered another humiliating defeat, say organisers.

Aerial footage showed extraordinary scenes as throngs of people marched from Park Lane to Parliament Square in Westminster amid a historic showdown in the House of Commons.

Britons calling for a "final say" vote on the Prime Minister's new Brexit deal were joined by celebrities such as Star Trek actor Sir Patrick Stewart and opposition politicians in one of the biggest protests ever seen in the capital.

Cheers erupted from the massive crowd outside Parliament as MPs passed the Letwin amendment in a 322-306 vote, delaying the approval of the deal and forcing Mr Johnson to seek a delay.

One group pulled a float depicting the Prime Minister's aide, Dominic Cummings, using Mr Johnson as a puppet.

"Demonic Cummings" was written across the forehead of the figure which appeared to be wearing a Nazi uniform, including an armband reading "Get Brexit Done", and had a Union Jack moustache.

As protesters waved signs, banners and EU and UK flags, Sir Patrick praised the crowd for keeping the fight for a second EU referendum alive.

 He said the crowd has proven a second referendum was not the "pipe dream" that opponents have described it as.

He told the protesters: "You haven't just filled a nice bar in north London, you have taken over an entire city. You haven't just impacted the Brexit debate, you have transformed British politics."

Sir Patrick added there was "nothing democratic" about the 2016 referendum.

"People weren't just misled, they were lied to," said Sir Patrick.

Effigies of the Prime Minister have been held aloft by protesters at the demonstration, with some accompanied by their pets draped in EU flags, on the People's Vote march to Westminster.

A number of celebrities and politicians joined the march, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan pictured alongside Sir Patrick and actor Stephen McGann at the front of the crowd as the march set off from Park Lane on Saturday afternoon.

Television chef Rick Stein shared an image of himself at the march, declaring "We are European", while Observer food critic Jay Rayner tweeted from the protest: "We march because we have to."

Protesters made their way through central London to Parliament Square, where Great British Bake Off presenter Sandi Toksvig and opposition MPs, including Labour's Jess Phillips and Liberal Democrat Luciana Berger, addressed the crowds.

The float depicting No10 aide Mr Cummings was being manned by Phil Jeanes, 67, who said he had driven the sculpture from Dusseldorf in Germany on Thursday night.

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