POLICE Scotland has been “excessive” in its use of breach of the peace to arrest anti-monarchy protesters in Edinburgh, as SNP MP has said. 

Tommy Sheppard has called for charges to be dropped in at least two of the cases. 

Last Sunday, a 22-year-old woman – who had been seen holding a sign which said “f*** imperialism” and “abolish the monarchy” – was arrested in the Royal Mile during the King’s public Accession ceremony.

She is due in court on Friday. 

A 22-year-old man was arrested on Monday during the procession which saw the Queen’s coffin moved from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral. He shouted, “Andrew, you’re a sick old man” at the Duke of York.

Both were charged in connection with breaching the peace. Two others were arrested during the events in city, though police have declined to give more detail. 

Mr Sheppard, whose Edinburgh East constituency includes the Palace of Holyroodhouse and St Giles’ Cathedral, has written to Chief Constable Iain Livingstone asking him to explain the decision to charge the protesters. 

In his letter, the SNP politician says that peaceful protest “often includes permitting the expression of speech that we find challenging, uncomfortable or disrespectful.”

He added: “There is no freedom of speech if the only political views that are allowed to be expressed are ones we agree with. And I am sure you will agree that the police should not be being put into the position of being seen to take sides on an issue where there is a difference of political opinion, with both sides being legitimate views in a democratic society. 

“I would therefore be grateful for an explanation of what offence officers considered had been committed in these instances, as media reports can be partial or incomplete and it is important to hear full accounts from all sides. 

“I understand that those arrested are being charged with breach of the peace which has a wide application in Scots law

“However, it seems to me that most reasonable people would regard it as inappropriate and excessive to use this offence to curtail political expression or dissent. 

“I am firmly of the belief that unless those arrested are believed to be guilty of a more specific offence against persons or property, charges should be dropped.”

Police Scotland has been approached for comment. 

The arrests, and similar actions by police forces across the UK, led to further protests. 

A demonstration in the capital saw activists hold up blank sheets of paper as people queued to see the Queen's coffin at St Giles' Cathedral.

One young woman involved in that protest claims she was then followed by Police Scotland officers.

She filmed the incident and shared it online. She alleges that two officers followed her from the Royal Mile all the way to Claremont.

The footage then shows her confronting the pair. She can be heard asking them: "Why are you following me? Just stopping when I'm stopping, walking when I'm walking?"

In the footage, neither denies shadowing her, with one officer replying: "We're just following, we're just making sure there's no disorder in the city centre today, that's all."

He then asks the protester where she lives, however, she refuses to give them her address, saying: “I'm not going to tell you where I stay if you are going to follow me there."

He responds: "We are just making sure there's no disorder in the city centre."

The young woman then asks: "What am I going to do by myself? I was just holding a white piece of sign earlier. That's so disorderly.”

The police officer tells her: "No, we are just making sure there's no disorder, that's what I'm saying."

A Police Scotland spokesperson told the Edinburgh Evening News: “We are aware of the social media post and its content is being assessed.”