Extinction Rebellion ‘stemmed from failed bus lane protest’

Extinction Rebellion climate activists practice yoga during a protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice in LondonImage copyright Reuters
Image caption Extinction Rebellion climate activists outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London

A failed protest over a bus lane and a psychedelic drug retreat had key roles in forming a global climate protest movement, two founders have revealed.

Extinction Rebellion now claims to have 100,000 members on its database.

Simon Bramwell said he felt an “acute sense of loss” after protests in Bristol in 2015 that saw campaigners living in trees that were cut down to make way for the Metrobus.

Gail Bradbrook said she “prayed for the codes for social change” on a retreat.

Extinction Rebellion describes itself as a “non-violent civil disobedience activist movement”. Its mass protests have been controversial – 1,200 campaigners were arrested in London in May after parts of the capital were brought to a halt.

Four years earlier Mr Bramwell, from Stroud in Gloucestershire, took part in the Stapleton allotment protests that saw campaigners perch in trees for more than a month before being evicted.

Image caption More than £1m was spent in 2015 removing the Stapleton allotment protestors

They were opposing the construction of a new bus lane that connected to the M32, along with several new bus stops and a bridge. The protestors claimed the land was some of the most fertile in the area but ultimately they were moved on and the work took place.

The protest led – in part – to the formation of Extinction Rebellion and its new approach to demonstrations.

“The acute sense of loss saw me meeting up with Gail Bradbrook to build campaigns of civil disobedience”, said Mr Bramwell.

“You have to be disruptive unfortunately,” said Ms Bradbrook, who has a PhD in molecular biophysics.

The 47-year-old said she came up with the idea for Extinction Rebellion after “praying for the codes for social change” while on a retreat with psychedelic medicines.

“I’ve always been interested in how things change, in social change. I was involved in the animal rights movement as a young woman. I’ve been involved in issues around gender and racism,” she said.

Image caption Gail Bradbrook believes “human beings might become extinct”

“I’ve been focused on trying to start civil disobedience since 2010 and tried lots of things that didn’t work. So I actually went on a retreat and prayed deeply, with some psychedelic medicine… it was a really intense experience.

“I prayed for the codes for social change… and within a month, my prayers were literally answered.”

Extinction Rebellion has outlined three demands: that the government is transparent on climate change, for the UK to be carbon neutral by 2025, and for a “citizen’s assembly” on environmental policies.

Image caption Simon Bramwell said he knew how he would feel if he couldn’t see a dying relative

A protest in Bristol in July caused disruption that prevented one man seeing his dying father in hospital.

“I can’t communicate with any degree of real depth how sorry I am [that that] happened,” said Mr Bramwell.

“My mum’s quite ill… and I know how I’d feel if I didn’t make it to her bedside during her death.

“We’ve become so siloed in the way we think, where the media picks up on that, but tens of thousands of people are dying each year from air pollution in the UK.

“I have a huge sense of responsibility to pass on a better planet to our children.”

Further demonstrations in major cities and smaller towns around the UK and in other countries have brought both disruption and headlines.

Image caption When the protests at the allotment failed part of it was built on for a new bus lane and stops

April’s protests in London cost the Metropolitan Police an extra £7.5m, including overtime payments and the cost of bringing officers in from other forces, its Commissioner Cressida Dick said.

Earlier this summer, Extinction Rebellion estimated that, in addition to the arrests made in London, about 400 of its demonstrators had been arrested internationally since October 2018.

Ms Bradbrook said: “It’s only by being disruptive that you get people to have a conversation about an issue.

“We started this thing in my house with 12 of us saying ‘let’s do this’, and within a year it’s gone global.

“We’ve got 130 groups across the UK, we’re in 59 countries, and it’s growing all the time.”

The full story features on Inside Out West on BBC One, Monday 2 September at 19:30 BST.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-49513802

Vasyl Lomachenko beats Luke Campbell to retain lightweight world titles

Lomachenko was taken the distance for only the fifth time as a professional

Vasyl Lomachenko produced a battling display to beat Britain’s Luke Campbell on points and add the WBC lightweight title to his WBA and WBO belts.

Lomachenko, 31, regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound boxers, was made to work hard for the thrilling win.

Campbell, also 31, was aiming to become a world champion for the first time but was floored in the 11th as the Ukrainian’s class proved decisive.

Lomachenko got the verdict 119-108, 119-108, 118-108 at London’s O2 Arena.

Campbell, an Olympic gold medallist in 2012, suffered the third loss of his 23-professional fight career but deserves huge praise when he fought back to produce a brave performance to hear the final bell.

“He is so good, he adapts to any plans,” said Campbell. “Tonight was not the jackpot but my time will come.”

The Hull man was in trouble at the end of the fifth when he was caught by a crushing left hook and then a barrage of body and head shots, but was saved by the bell.

Campbell took more punishment in the sixth, but had success of his own later in that round and the next in a captivating contest.

He was floored in the 11th after a barrage of body shots and then a jab sent Campbell down. But he got up to finish the fight, although two of the three judges did not give him a round, only a share of one.

Campbell was later taken to hospital but promoter Eddie Hearn said it was only precautionary and nothing to worry about.

Lomachenko’s powerful work to the body repeatedly caused Campbell problems

Lomachenko lives up to the hype

A sold-out crowd at the O2 Arena witnessed another fantastic, dominant performance from Lomachenko, a three-weight world champion.

This latest victory – in only his 15th fight as a professional – means he now holds three of the main four belts in the lightweight division – Ghana’s Richard Commey, the IBF champion, the only one standing in his way from being an undisputed champion.

Lomachenko has also held world titles at featherweight and super-featherweight after an incredible amateur career that saw him win 396 out of 397 bouts and also win Olympic gold medals in Beijing in 2008 and then again in London four years later.

Now, less than five miles from where he won that second gold medal and in his first professional fight in Europe, Lomachenko dazzled from the off.

Before the fight, Hearn said it was an “honour” to get the Ukrainian to fight in the UK – and he didn’t disappoint.

The right jab proved a constant menace and the left was dangerous, twice rocking Campbell’s head back as early as the third round.

He also provided some brutal body shots, leaving Campbell wincing in pain in the fourth.

Lomachenko told BBC Radio 5 Live: “He has big amateur experience, he’s a smart fighter, a technical fighter and you saw his reach so of course it was hard for me.

“He gave me a good experience and a good fight. I want a unification fight for the four belts.”

Campbell leaves with his head held high

In the build-up to this fight, legendary promoter Bob Arum said Lomachenko was the greatest technical fighter in boxing since Muhammad Ali and afterwards also compared him to other greats including Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Floyd Mayweather, Oscar de la Hoya and Manny Pacquiao.

Therefore to go the distance shows what a gutsy effort it was from Campbell.

This was his second world title shot after he lost on a controversial split decision against Jorge Linares in America in September 2017.

On that occasion, Campbell, whose father died two weeks before the fight, was knocked down in the second but fought back, and later insisted he won the fight by a two-round margin.

But against Lomachenko it never looked likely that Campbell, a 10-1 underdog, would get the victory, as the Ukrainian was too good, despite the Briton being two inches taller and having a five-inch reach advantage.

Lomachenko was fighting a British opponent for only the second time, after knocking out former world champion Anthony Crolla in the fourth round in America earlier this year.

Campbell managed to go the distance, but a shock win was not to happen.

Lomachenko wants to become undisputed world champion

Analysis – ‘Campbell made the magician look normal’

Former world champion Carl Frampton: “I never expected that. It was down to Luke Campbell who showed such skill alongside grit and determination. His stock has risen dramatically tonight even though he is the loser. I think Lomachenko underplayed how hard that was. I think it’s the toughest fight he has had as a professional.”

BBC Sport boxing correspondent Mike Costello: “Three of the four versions of the title now rest with Vasyl Lomachenko. But people who haven’t seen it won’t realise how hard he has had to work for it.”

BBC Radio 5 Live boxing expert Steve Bunce: “We came for sorcery and were given a display of old-fashioned grit, determination and heart and desire. Such bravery, such guts. The points mean nothing. Luke Campbell made the magician look normal.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/boxing/49540076

Philip Hammond: Deselecting Tory MPs over Brexit ‘hypocritical’

Philip Hammond
Image caption The former chancellor has described a no-deal Brexit as anti-democratic

It would be “staggeringly hypocritical” for the government to sack Conservative MPs who rebel over its Brexit plans, former chancellor Philip Hammond says.

It comes after the Sun reported No 10 would stop any Tory MP who votes to block a no-deal Brexit from standing for the party in a general election.

Government sources haven’t denied this.

But Mr Hammond said eight current cabinet members had themselves defied the party whip this year by voting against Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Parliament would be suspended, or prorogued, just days after MPs return to work in September, prompting an angry backlash from MPs and opponents of a no-deal Brexit.

The prime minister said the move would enable the government to bring forwards new legislation.

But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Mr Johnson of a “smash and grab on our democracy” in order to force through no deal by leaving MPs too little time to pass laws in Parliament aimed at preventing such an outcome.

At present, the default position in law is that the UK leaves the EU on 31 October, with or without a deal.

Some MPs who oppose a no-deal Brexit – including Conservatives – are planning to take action in Parliament next week.

Mr Corbyn has said opposition MPs have agreed to first try to avoid no deal using legislation, while using a vote of no confidence to bring down the government remained an option.

According to the Sun, Mr Johnson plans to sack any Tory MPs who back either of these moves.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Government sources told the BBC Boris Johnson wanted all MPs to “recognise their duty”

In response to the reports, Mr Hammond tweeted that he wanted to honour the party’s 2017 manifesto promise for a “smooth and orderly” exit and a “deep and special partnership” with the EU and “not an undemocratic No Deal”.

Conservative MP Sam Gyimah tweeted that the possibility of every MP who votes against “no-deal chaos” being purged showed the direction the party had gone in a very short space of time, adding that it was not “real Conservatism”.

And Conservative backbencher Antoinette Sandbach has said she will “always put [her constituents] interests above my career prospects” and her party.

Government sources told the BBC that Mr Johnson wanted all MPs to “recognise their duty” and “give him their support” to get the UK out of the EU by 31 October.

A government spokesperson said: “All options for party management are under consideration, but first and foremost the PM hopes MPs will deliver on the referendum result and back him on Parliament.”


Analysis

By Jessica Parker, political correspondent

Whether Boris Johnson’s government would really go so far as to throw rebellious MPs out of the party isn’t yet certain.

But the fact that today’s reports aren’t being denied is yet another indication that Downing Street is, it appears, doing its best to dissuade wavering Conservatives from supporting legislation designed to block a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Johnson believes that taking that outcome off the table will weaken his hand in trying to get a new agreement.

However, some MPs take the view that this administration is being deliberately provocative, perhaps with the aim of being able to create that “People versus parliament” narrative in the event of a general election.


Mr Hammond’s intervention came after his successor, Sajid Javid, backed Mr Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament.

Despite insisting during the Tory leadership campaign that he thought proroguing Parliament was a bad idea, Mr Javid has now defended the plan.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is quite usual this time of year, Parliament goes into what’s called a conference recess and it doesn’t usually sit for some time in September and early October.

“It’s right because we are focusing on the people’s priorities.”

Thousands of people took to the streets across the UK to protest the suspension on Saturday.

Demonstrations were held in central London, near Downing Street, and in other locations across the UK, including Manchester, Leeds, York and Belfast.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49539327

Philip Hammond: Deselecting Tory MPs over Brexit ‘hypocritical’

Philip Hammond
Image caption The former chancellor has described a no-deal Brexit as anti-democratic

It would be “staggeringly hypocritical” for the government to sack Conservative MPs who rebel over its Brexit plans, former chancellor Philip Hammond says.

It comes after the Sun reported No 10 would stop any Tory MP who votes to block a no-deal Brexit from standing for the party in a general election.

Government sources haven’t denied this.

But Mr Hammond said eight current cabinet members had themselves defied the party whip this year by voting against Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Parliament would be suspended, or prorogued, just days after MPs return to work in September, prompting an angry backlash from MPs and opponents of a no-deal Brexit.

The prime minister said the move would enable the government to bring forwards new legislation.

But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused Mr Johnson of a “smash and grab on our democracy” in order to force through no deal by leaving MPs too little time to pass laws in Parliament aimed at preventing such an outcome.

At present, the default position in law is that the UK leaves the EU on 31 October, with or without a deal.

Some MPs who oppose a no-deal Brexit – including Conservatives – are planning to take action in Parliament next week.

Mr Corbyn has said opposition MPs have agreed to first try to avoid no deal using legislation, while using a vote of no confidence to bring down the government remained an option.

According to the Sun, Mr Johnson plans to sack any Tory MPs who back either of these moves.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Government sources told the BBC Boris Johnson wanted all MPs to “recognise their duty”

In response to the reports, Mr Hammond tweeted that he wanted to honour the party’s 2017 manifesto promise for a “smooth and orderly” exit and a “deep and special partnership” with the EU and “not an undemocratic No Deal”.

Conservative MP Sam Gyimah tweeted that the possibility of every MP who votes against “no-deal chaos” being purged showed the direction the party had gone in a very short space of time, adding that it was not “real Conservatism”.

And Conservative backbencher Antoinette Sandbach has said she will “always put [her constituents] interests above my career prospects” and her party.

Government sources told the BBC that Mr Johnson wanted all MPs to “recognise their duty” and “give him their support” to get the UK out of the EU by 31 October.

A government spokesperson said: “All options for party management are under consideration, but first and foremost the PM hopes MPs will deliver on the referendum result and back him on Parliament.”


Analysis

By Jessica Parker, political correspondent

Whether Boris Johnson’s government would really go so far as to throw rebellious MPs out of the party isn’t yet certain.

But the fact that today’s reports aren’t being denied is yet another indication that Downing Street is, it appears, doing its best to dissuade wavering Conservatives from supporting legislation designed to block a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Johnson believes that taking that outcome off the table will weaken his hand in trying to get a new agreement.

However, some MPs take the view that this administration is being deliberately provocative, perhaps with the aim of being able to create that “People versus parliament” narrative in the event of a general election.


Mr Hammond’s intervention came after his successor, Sajid Javid, backed Mr Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament.

Despite insisting during the Tory leadership campaign that he thought proroguing Parliament was a bad idea, Mr Javid has now defended the plan.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is quite usual this time of year, Parliament goes into what’s called a conference recess and it doesn’t usually sit for some time in September and early October.

“It’s right because we are focusing on the people’s priorities.”

Thousands of people took to the streets across the UK to protest the suspension on Saturday.

Demonstrations were held in central London, near Downing Street, and in other locations across the UK, including Manchester, Leeds, York and Belfast.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-49539327

Parliament suspension: Thousands protest across the UK

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionCrowds fill Whitehall in central London to protest against Boris Johnson’s plans to suspend Parliament

Demonstrations have been taking place across the UK against Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament in the run-up to Brexit.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in cities including Manchester, Leeds, York and Belfast.

Parts of central London were brought to a standstill, as people chanted: “Boris Johnson, shame on you.”

A small group of counter-protesters, marching in support of the prime minister, also arrived in Westminster.

Mr Johnson’s plan to prorogue Parliament prompted an angry backlash from MPs and opponents of a no-deal Brexit when he announced it on Wednesday.

If the prorogation happens as expected, Parliament will be closed for 23 working days.

Critics view the length and timing of the suspension – coming just weeks before the Brexit deadline on 31 October – as controversial.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Thousands registered their interest in the protests – including in Manchester – on social media
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In Whitehall, protesters gathered to hear from speakers including Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Police kept a watchful eye on protesters as arguments broke out in Westminster

Protests were held place in more than 30 towns and cities across the UK, including Edinburgh, Belfast, Cambridge, Exeter, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.

In London, demonstrators stopped traffic in Whitehall and the West End.

They also staged a sit-down protest in the roads around Trafalgar Square, before marching to Buckingham Palace shouting: “Whose democracy? Our democracy.”

The Met Police said it had made three arrests but gave no further details.

The Green Party said London Assembly member Caroline Russell was among those arrested.

Sian Berry, co-leader of the Green Party, tweeted she was “proud of Caroline standing up for democracy”.

NHS pharmacist Bridie Walton, 55, said she had never been to a demonstration before, but joined the protest in Exeter to oppose Mr Johnson’s plan.

“These are the actions of a man who is afraid his arguments will not stand scrutiny,” she said.

In Liverpool, Paula Carlyle said she was “proud” to stand alongside protesters “who voted both Remain and Leave”.

“We will not be silenced,” she said. “Without us you have no power and we will continue to show ours until Mr Johnson is stopped.”

In Oxford, crowds holding banners gathered outside Balliol College, where Mr Johnson studied at university.

Image copyright Lind Covill
Image caption In Oxford, protesters gathered outside Mr Johnson’s former college
Image copyright EPA
Image caption The protests were triggered by Mr Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament until 17 days before the Brexit deadline
Image copyright Philip Haines
Image caption Many of the protests – like the one in Exeter – began at 11:00 BST, while others started at midday

Named “Stop the Coup”, the protests are organised by anti-Brexit campaign group Another Europe is Possible.

Small protests also took place in Amsterdam, Berlin and the Latvian capital Riga.

Speaking at a rally in Glasgow, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the protesters’ message to the prime minister was: “No way do you take us out without a deal.”

“Demonstrations are taking place everywhere because people are angered and outraged about what is happening,” he added.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Corbyn told the crowds in George Square, Glasgow, people are “angered and outraged”
Image caption Protesters marched to Buckingham Palace, after the Queen formally approved Mr Johnson’s plan
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Police began moving protesters off the roads around Trafalgar Square

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott both addressed crowds in London.

Speaking from a stage near Downing Street, Ms Abbott told protesters: “We cannot allow Boris Johnson to shut down Parliament and to shut down the voice of ordinary British people.”

Meanwhile in Bristol, former Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Williams said by suspending Parliament, Mr Johnson had left MPs “with about four days to make the most important decision of any of our lifetimes”.

Image copyright Richard Simpson
Image caption Protesters dressed as children’s characters in Plymouth
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption By late morning at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, small crowds had gathered – one of three protests abroad
Image caption The protest in Bristol had to be moved to College Green outside City Hall to avoid traffic problems

Chancellor Sajid Javid, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, defended the prime minister’s decision to suspend Parliament.

He said: “It’s quite usual this time of year for Parliament to go in to a recess. It’s perfectly correct and appropriate to prorogue Parliament.

“I think it’s absolutely right that this prime minister and his government get the chance to set up their agenda.”


UK divided over what democracy means

It’s a far cry from the numbers that we saw marching through Westminster earlier this year. I think we’d probably measure this one in the thousands [in central London].

But there are deeply-held passions here, different kinds of passions. Some are here because they don’t like Boris Johnson’s government, some because they are worried about proroguing Parliament, some because they don’t want no deal, some because they don’t want Brexit at all.

There’s been a lot of talk about democracy from the people I’ve spoken to here today, but actually I think what it comes down to is a country which is riven by very different definitions about what democracy actually means.


The Jo Cox Foundation, which was set up in the wake of the Labour MP’s murder in 2016, warned that anger over Brexit “should not spill over into something more dangerous”.

Meanwhile, a petition against the prime minister’s plan to suspend Parliament has received more than 1.5 million signatures.

And on Friday, former Tory Prime Minister Sir John Major announced he will join forces with anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller to oppose the decision to suspend Parliament in the courts.

He believes Mr Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament is aimed at preventing MPs from opposing a no-deal Brexit.

The prime minister has dismissed suggestions that suspending Parliament is motivated by a desire to force through a no deal, calling them “completely untrue”.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The idea this is some kind of constitutional outrage is nonsense.”


Are you at the protests? Share your photos and videos by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49534940

Parliament suspension: Thousands protest across the UK

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionCrowds fill Whitehall in central London to protest against Boris Johnson’s plans to suspend Parliament

Demonstrations have been taking place across the UK against Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament in the run-up to Brexit.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in cities including Manchester, Leeds, York and Belfast.

Parts of central London were brought to a standstill, as people chanted: “Boris Johnson, shame on you.”

A small group of counter-protesters, marching in support of the prime minister, also arrived in Westminster.

Mr Johnson’s plan to prorogue Parliament prompted an angry backlash from MPs and opponents of a no-deal Brexit when he announced it on Wednesday.

If the prorogation happens as expected, Parliament will be closed for 23 working days.

Critics view the length and timing of the suspension – coming just weeks before the Brexit deadline on 31 October – as controversial.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Thousands registered their interest in the protests – including in Manchester – on social media
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption In Whitehall, protesters gathered to hear from speakers including Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Police kept a watchful eye on protesters as arguments broke out in Westminster

Protests were held place in more than 30 towns and cities across the UK, including Edinburgh, Belfast, Cambridge, Exeter, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.

In London, demonstrators stopped traffic in Whitehall and the West End.

They also staged a sit-down protest in the roads around Trafalgar Square, before marching to Buckingham Palace shouting: “Whose democracy? Our democracy.”

The Met Police said it had made three arrests but gave no further details.

The Green Party said London Assembly member Caroline Russell was among those arrested.

Sian Berry, co-leader of the Green Party, tweeted she was “proud of Caroline standing up for democracy”.

NHS pharmacist Bridie Walton, 55, said she had never been to a demonstration before, but joined the protest in Exeter to oppose Mr Johnson’s plan.

“These are the actions of a man who is afraid his arguments will not stand scrutiny,” she said.

In Liverpool, Paula Carlyle said she was “proud” to stand alongside protesters “who voted both Remain and Leave”.

“We will not be silenced,” she said. “Without us you have no power and we will continue to show ours until Mr Johnson is stopped.”

In Oxford, crowds holding banners gathered outside Balliol College, where Mr Johnson studied at university.

Image copyright Lind Covill
Image caption In Oxford, protesters gathered outside Mr Johnson’s former college
Image copyright EPA
Image caption The protests were triggered by Mr Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament until 17 days before the Brexit deadline
Image copyright Philip Haines
Image caption Many of the protests – like the one in Exeter – began at 11:00 BST, while others started at midday

Named “Stop the Coup”, the protests are organised by anti-Brexit campaign group Another Europe is Possible.

Small protests also took place in Amsterdam, Berlin and the Latvian capital Riga.

Speaking at a rally in Glasgow, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the protesters’ message to the prime minister was: “No way do you take us out without a deal.”

“Demonstrations are taking place everywhere because people are angered and outraged about what is happening,” he added.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Corbyn told the crowds in George Square, Glasgow, people are “angered and outraged”
Image caption Protesters marched to Buckingham Palace, after the Queen formally approved Mr Johnson’s plan
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Police began moving protesters off the roads around Trafalgar Square

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott both addressed crowds in London.

Speaking from a stage near Downing Street, Ms Abbott told protesters: “We cannot allow Boris Johnson to shut down Parliament and to shut down the voice of ordinary British people.”

Meanwhile in Bristol, former Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Williams said by suspending Parliament, Mr Johnson had left MPs “with about four days to make the most important decision of any of our lifetimes”.

Image copyright Richard Simpson
Image caption Protesters dressed as children’s characters in Plymouth
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption By late morning at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, small crowds had gathered – one of three protests abroad
Image caption The protest in Bristol had to be moved to College Green outside City Hall to avoid traffic problems

Chancellor Sajid Javid, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, defended the prime minister’s decision to suspend Parliament.

He said: “It’s quite usual this time of year for Parliament to go in to a recess. It’s perfectly correct and appropriate to prorogue Parliament.

“I think it’s absolutely right that this prime minister and his government get the chance to set up their agenda.”


UK divided over what democracy means

It’s a far cry from the numbers that we saw marching through Westminster earlier this year. I think we’d probably measure this one in the thousands [in central London].

But there are deeply-held passions here, different kinds of passions. Some are here because they don’t like Boris Johnson’s government, some because they are worried about proroguing Parliament, some because they don’t want no deal, some because they don’t want Brexit at all.

There’s been a lot of talk about democracy from the people I’ve spoken to here today, but actually I think what it comes down to is a country which is riven by very different definitions about what democracy actually means.


The Jo Cox Foundation, which was set up in the wake of the Labour MP’s murder in 2016, warned that anger over Brexit “should not spill over into something more dangerous”.

Meanwhile, a petition against the prime minister’s plan to suspend Parliament has received more than 1.5 million signatures.

And on Friday, former Tory Prime Minister Sir John Major announced he will join forces with anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller to oppose the decision to suspend Parliament in the courts.

He believes Mr Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament is aimed at preventing MPs from opposing a no-deal Brexit.

The prime minister has dismissed suggestions that suspending Parliament is motivated by a desire to force through a no deal, calling them “completely untrue”.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The idea this is some kind of constitutional outrage is nonsense.”


Are you at the protests? Share your photos and videos by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49534940

Accrington boy, 16, charged with Lindsay Birbeck’s murder

Lindsay BirbeckImage copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Lindsay Birbeck was last seen on CCTV walking on Burnley Road in Huncoat

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with murdering a teaching assistant whose body was found in a cemetery.

Lindsay Birbeck 47, was last seen in Huncoat, Lancashire, on 12 August and was found dead at Accrington Cemetery on 24 August.

Post-mortem tests found she had been strangled.

The teenager, from Accrington, who cannot be named because of his age, is due to appear at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Ms Birbeck’s disappearance prompted wide-ranging searches by hundreds of members of the public.

Her children Steven, 19 and Sarah, 16, said they had lost “not only our mum but our best friend too”.

Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Ms Birbeck’s body was found in Accrington Cemetery on Saturday

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-49535154

Accrington boy, 16, charged with Lindsay Birbeck’s murder

Lindsay BirbeckImage copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Lindsay Birbeck was last seen on CCTV walking on Burnley Road in Huncoat

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with murdering a teaching assistant whose body was found in a cemetery.

Lindsay Birbeck 47, was last seen in Huncoat, Lancashire, on 12 August and was found dead at Accrington Cemetery on 24 August.

Post-mortem tests found she had been strangled.

The teenager, from Accrington, who cannot be named because of his age, is due to appear at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Ms Birbeck’s disappearance prompted wide-ranging searches by hundreds of members of the public.

Her children Steven, 19 and Sarah, 16, said they had lost “not only our mum but our best friend too”.

Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Ms Birbeck’s body was found in Accrington Cemetery on Saturday

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-49535154