Protestors occupying the so-called ‘Democracy Village’ on Parliament Square have been ordered to leave by a High Court Judge or be evicted.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has previously claimed the square, which is under the control of the Greater London Authority, has been damaged by protestors.
Sitting at the High Court, Mr Justice Griffith Williams said the Mayor had “directed himself correctly, considered all the relevant matters and reached a reasoned decision which cannot be criticised” in deciding to exclude protestors from the square.
Enforcement of the order has been delayed until 4pm this Friday subject to any applications to the Court of Appeal to challenge the ruling.
A spokesperson for Mr Johnson said the Mayor “respects the right to demonstrate” but was “pleased that the court has supported the Greater London Authority’s application to re-gain possession of Parliament Square Gardens.”
Green party politician and London Assembly Member Jenny Jones said she was “disappointed” that the Mayor’s case was successful and called on officials to be “sensitive in how they go about removing the village.”
Jones added: “The Mayor’s main argument for eviction was that the Democracy Village prevents others from enjoying the space or using it for their own protest. When I visited there were plenty of tourists in the square, taking photos and chatting to protesters. There were already a number of causes represented and I do not believe anyone would have been prevented from adding another one.
“The lack of police presence showed that the protesters were not causing a problem, yet the Mayor was dogmatic in pursuing an expensive legal process. The Mayor has satisfied the lobby who wanted the square ‘tidied up’ but at what cost to our democracy?”