Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Speaker Tells of Commons Invasion

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Speaker Tells of Commons Invasion

Article excerpt

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons said yesterday she feared invading pro-hunt protesters could have been armed.

Sylvia Heal told Bow Street magistrates in London that she was concerned for the safety of ministers Alun Michael and Elliot Morley when the demonstrators stormed the Chamber during a fox hunting bill debate.

Mrs Heal, giving evidence in the trial of eight protesters, said it had been an unprecedented breach of security.

At Bow Street Magistrates' Court in London, she said: "Although I could see that the young men who entered the Chamber had nothing in their hands, I could not be sure they did not have something in their pockets or around their body."

The protesters, who included Otis Ferry, 22, son of pop singer Bryan Ferry, rushed in on September 15 last year after sneaking in dressed as builders.

Mrs Heal said: "They were shouting loudly, aggressively, and they stopped in front of the ministers, pointing their fingers at the two members. …

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