Priti Patel slams anti-vaxxers as police investigate ‘vile’ mob led by Piers Corbyn who stormed Covid testing centre
Priti Patel has slammed the ‘completely unacceptable’ behaviour of anti-vaccine protesters who stormed a Covid testing centre yesterday.
Dozens of marchers entered the facility in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, and shouted ‘shame on you’ at NHS staff.
Others threw traffic cones and pushed over signs, while one demonstrator appeared to damage and remove testing equipment in videos shared on social media.
Anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist Piers Corbyn, 74, was not seen in the footage but made a speech at the so-called ‘Freedom Rally’ earlier in the day.
The Home Secretary has now condemned the scenes, saying that police have her ‘full support’ to take action against those involved.
Sajid Javid also said he is ‘appalled’ by the ‘vile behaviour’ of the protesters, tweeting: ‘I was appalled to see Piers Corbyn and his mob threaten NHS test and trace staff who are working so hard to keep people safe.
‘This kind of vile behaviour is unacceptable.’
Priti Patel (pictured in October) has slammed the ‘completely unacceptable’ behaviour of anti-vaccine protesters who stormed a Covid testing centre yesterday
Dozens of marchers entered the facility in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, shouting ‘shame on you’ at NHS staff while others threw traffic cones (pictured) and pushed over signs
The Home Secretary has condemned the scenes, saying that police have her ‘full support’ to take action against those involved (Twitter thread above)
Sajid Javid also said he is ‘appalled’ by the ‘vile behaviour’ of the protesters, tweeting: ‘I was appalled to see Piers Corbyn and his mob threaten NHS test and trace staff’
Ms Patel tweeted: ‘It is more important than ever that people have their vaccinations and booster jabs and it is completely unacceptable that conspiracy theorists are intimidating and harassing those administering tests or delivering the life-saving vaccine programme.
‘The police have my full support to take swift action where necessary. We’ll always give the police the powers (and) resources they need to keep the British people safe.
‘That’s why we’re bringing forward measures in the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill to crack down on public nuisance & disruptive protests that impact the law-abiding majority.’
Anti-vaxxer Piers was seen speaking at the demonstration. He was arrested on suspicion of encouraging people to attack MPs’ offices earlier this month.
The group also entered Milton Keynes Theatre, where a pantomime was being staged.
Alfie Drake, a 19-year-old student who was visiting the theatre with his family, said that children cried while the protesters were ‘shouting and blowing whistles’.
Anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist Piers Corbyn, 74, and other protesters clash with theatre patrons wearing face masks inside Milton Keynes Theatre during the rally
A motorist remonstrates with anti-vaccination protesters during the rally at a Covid testing site in central Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, yesterday
He said: ‘(I was) shocked (at) what we had seen, this panto was for families to enjoy with their kids.
‘It’s disgraceful, older men and women were shouting and blowing whistles and making some kids cry.
‘It is a panto, not the parliament, they came across as very aggressive and (were) shouting at families with their kids to take off their masks.’
Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University and a member of the Vaccine Task Force, told Times Radio the group were ‘crazy’.
Demonstrators also appeared to damage and remove testing equipment in videos shared on social media of the rally in Milton Keynes on Wednesday
Staff appeared overrun as protesters took part in an anti-vaccination Freedom Rally inside an NHS Covid testing centre in central Milton Keynes
He said: ‘That’s completely unacceptable behaviour by any standard. There are a group of crazy people who don’t want to have vaccines and who you’ll never persuade to have vaccines, and as far as I’m concerned, good luck to them.’
On Wednesday Thames Valley Police had called for the public to share information with them about the protest by calling 101 or finding them online and quoting reference 604 29/12/2021, adding that no arrests had been made.
A spokesman for Thames Valley Police told MailOnline yesterday that the force ‘is aware of an anti-vaccination protest that took place in central Milton Keynes.’
He added: ‘Where criminal offences have been disclosed, we will take swift action and bring offenders to justice.
‘If anyone has any information or wishes to report they can do by calling 101 or online quoting reference 604 29/12/2021.’