Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has urged Black Lives Matter protesters not to come to London amid fears of clashes between counter-protesters.

The Met has said that "Black Lives Matter, right-wing and left-wing affiliated groups" are expected to march.

Police on horseback and with shields and helmets have arrived at the demonstration, and around 100 protesters have returned to the barrier of officers near the Cenotaph, chanting Lee Rigby‘s name and singing the national anthem.

Glass bottles, including a large vodka bottle, and cans have been thrown towards the line of helmeted officers.

Many counter-protesters, including Paul Golding, the leader of far-right political group Britain First, have assembled in Parliament Square with some of the group also gathered around the nearby Cenotaph, which has also been boarded up.

Several police officers were in attendance and a vehicle carrying police horses was also seen in the area.

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Paul Golding, leader of the far-right group Britain First, said they had turned out to “guard our monuments”, telling the PA news agency: “I am extremely fed up with the way that the authorities have allowed two consecutive weekends of vandalism against our national monuments.

“Anyone who comes along today to try and vandalise them will probably be dealt with by all of these Englishmen that turned up, and they’re fed up as well.”

When asked about the other boarded-up statues in Parliament square, including one of Nelson Mandela, Mr Golding said: “Why should we have a communist terrorist mass murderer in the capital city of England? It doesn’t make any sense.


“We would like to see that one go, on good grounds, but the rest of them are our historical heritage.”

When asked why demonstrators had gathered during a pandemic, with few present wearing masks, Mr Golding referenced the large anti-racism gatherings of previous weeks.

“If it’s good for one, it’s good for the other,” he said.

READ MORE: Kevin McKenna: If black lives really matter we need to go beyond knocking down a few old statues

A large crowd of demonstrators are on Whitehall singing the national anthem. Several were seen wearing military-style hats or jackets.

Other chants included 'Winston Churchill, he's one of our own'

A line of police officers has advanced, blocking more protesters from accessing the Cenotaph.

As several hundred demonstrators block roads around Parliament Square, police officers are encouraging them to move back onto the pavements.

A demonstrator from South London, who gave her name as Victoria, was in the square with a banner reading “All lives matter”.

Discussing controversial statues, she told PA: “It’s the past. You’ve just gotta learn to live with it, they’ve done what they’ve done but it’s still in the records they did good things.

“I’ve got things I don’t want to remember, but I wouldn’t go smashing things up because of it.”

Other police officers remain in a line blocking access to the Cenotaph on Whitehall, with some holding shields.

London mayor Sadiq Khan has accused Home Secretary Priti Patel of political point-scoring over the boarding up of a statue of Winston Churchill.

Ms Patel strongly criticised the move – accusing the mayor of failing to stand up to “thuggery” and demanding Britain’s “national hero” was set free.

However Mr Khan said the decision to protect the statue in Parliament Square – along with the Cenotaph and monuments to Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi – was a “wise” precaution.