London

Bailiff and parliament protester filmed 'kicking'

A bailiff has been filmed apparently kicking a demonstrator while evicting him from a peace camp outside the Houses of Parliament.

Bailiff firm Shergroup evicted protesters from Parliament Square on Tuesday, after Boris Johnson obtained a High Court order for their removal.

The footage shows a protester kicking out and being dragged by bailiffs, one of whom then appears to stamp on him.

Shergroup said it would review the video and investigate the incident.

Chief executive Claire Sandbrook said, after watching the footage in slow motion, the firm thought the bailiff had been trying to free his foot from the grip of the demonstrator.

"If we find that anything has happened we will take further action," she said.

Evidence gathering

The demonstrators had been camped in the so-called "Democracy Village" site since May and were protesting about several issues, including the Afghanistan war.

London's mayor began legal action to evict them in June.

But a spokeswoman for Mr Johnson denied that the Greater London Authority (GLA) had carried out the enforcement, and said the evictions were the responsibility of the High Court.

Earlier on Wednesday, before viewing the footage, Ms Sandbrook had said: "We strenuously deny that any unnecessary force was used to execute the writ of possession."

"We had our own evidence-gathering team on site at all times to monitor this eviction."

After seeing the footage, a spokeswoman for the mayor said: "The action to clear Parliament Square Gardens on Tuesday morning was carried out by approved High Court enforcement officers in accordance with the High Court judgment to repossess the site.

"This enforcement was not carried out by the Greater London Authority and the land has not yet been signed back to the GLA, so any ongoing issues of enforcement remain with the High Court for the time being.

"We have however alerted the High Court enforcement officers to this footage.

"Their own team also collect evidence of actions carried out during the operation."

Parliament Square is expected to be handed back to the GLA on Thursday morning.

The Metropolitan Police (Met) said they were on standby during the eviction and made no arrests.

"Officers were there to support High Court enforcement officers who were carrying out an operation to evict those residing on the grassed area of the square," a Met spokesman said.

"The role of the police was to be on standby to prevent a breach of the peace and to deal with any crime."

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