London

Brian Haw loses Parliament Square camp court appeal

Brian Haw
Image caption Peace campaigner Brian Haw set up his camp opposite the Houses of Parliament in 2001

Peace campaigner Brian Haw faces being evicted from an area of grass in Parliament Square after losing an appeal against a possession order.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson won High Court possession orders last month after the Court of Appeal backed his bid to remove the protest camp.

Mr Haw's long-standing presence on the pavement on the east side of Parliament Square is not threatened by the order.

He set up his camp in 2001 in Parliament Square Gardens.

Parliament Square Gardens is owned by the Greater London Authority (GLA), while the pavement surrounding the square belongs to Westminster Council.

Mr Haw, previously from Redditch, Worcestershire, has a tent on the grass area in the square.

He is currently undergoing treatment for lung cancer in Germany.

'Rid of the camp'

Mr Haw's fellow campaigner, Barbara Tucker, said she did not believe the eviction had anything to do with clearing the area for the royal wedding.

"It is about getting rid of our peace campaign," she said.

A spokesperson for the mayor said: "The mayor is pleased that the High Court has supported previous rulings to return possession of Parliament Square Gardens to the GLA.

"The Court of Appeal had previously made a special case for Brian Haw and Barbara Tucker that they could continue to sleep on the grass area controlled by the GLA on a temporary basis while their case was referred back to the High Court for conclusion in this matter.

"The High Court has now concluded that neither party should be allowed to continue to sleep on the GLA controlled grass. The perimeter fences will be adjusted accordingly."

Mrs Tucker had asked the appeal judges to adjourn the application to give more time to Mr Haw to prepare the case for health reasons.

But Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and Lady Justice Smith rejected the application and ruled there was "no prospect" of any appeal being successful as the mayor of London was entitled to his order for possession without any further delay as "justice delayed is justice denied".

'A cover-up'

Mrs Tucker said that if the eviction order was enforced the veteran campaigner would have to sleep on the pavement.

She asked: "If he returns, is it going to be safe for him to be that close to the traffic fumes?"

She also interrupted Lord Neuberger saying: "This is a cover-up. Are you finished now?"

Last July bailiffs and police evicted demonstrators who set up a "Democracy Village" in the square in May 2010.

The Court of Appeal backed the High Court decision granting the mayor the possession of the site, who said in court that the green space was being vandalised.

But that order did not mention Mr Haw's camp.

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