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Protests banned on the South Bank

Much of the South Bank will be off-limits to demonstrators as part of a 1 kilometre exclusion zone for protests close to the Houses of Parliament.

The London Eye is part of the zone in which unauthorised protests by one or more people will be outlawed when new legislation comes into force on 1 August.

Police will be able to impose strict conditions on any demo within the zone, including time limits or bans on placards and loudhailers.

The Home Secretary gained powers to designate an exclusion of up to a kilometre in the Serious and Organised Crime and Police Act, passed earlier this year.

The zone includes the South Bank between Hungerford Bridge and Lambeth Bridge.

Anyone wanting to stage a demonstration within the zone after 1 August will be able to apply to the Metropolitan Police from the beginning of July.

From August it will be an arrestable offence to stage a spontaneous demonstration in the zone without permission.

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis has described it as a "contempt of democracy and a contempt of people's right to protest."

Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Mark Oaten said: "Preventing people form freely voicing their opinions outside Parliament was bad enough.

"What possible justification can there be for banning spontaneous demonstrations across such a wide area?

"Once again, this Government has shown itself ready to play fast and loose with hard-won British freedoms."

• Last year the then Lambeth borough police commander Dick Quinn told the London SE1 website that the South Bank benefitted from extra police resources because of its proximity to Parliament: "I must remind people that there is an added security patrol in this area around the government security zone, so this [area] does enjoy, in that sense, added policing."

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