Sadiq Khan raises concerns over Al Quds Day with Met commissioner

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Sadiq Khan raises concerns over Al Quds Day with Met commissioner

London Mayor to meet city's top police officer and will discuss the anti-Israel march, which has previously seen Hezbollah flags being waved

Jack Mendel is the former Online Editor at the Jewish News.

The striking Hezbollah flag during the Al-Quds rally in London, 2016 (Photo credit: Steve Winston)
The striking Hezbollah flag during the Al-Quds rally in London, 2016 (Photo credit: Steve Winston)

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has raised concerns about the forthcoming anti-Israel Al-Quds Day march with the Met Police Commissioner.

The Labour politician has come under pressure to block the event from taking place, as it has previously attracted controversy, with protesters waving the flags of terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

Speaking to this paper at Jewish Care’s annual dinner, Khan said: “I have passed those concerns on to the Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, who has taken them on board.

“I am meeting the commissioner on Friday and this is on the agenda.”

The rally, which claims it “unites for the freedom of the oppressed in Palestine and beyond,” is jointly organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, and is due to take place on Sunday 18 June.

However, Jewish community groups have long protested a legal loophole allowing protesters to wave flags of , because the group has both an armed wing – which is proscribed as a terror organisation – and a political wing, which is not.

Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan

In the last week, a petition calling for the mayor to ban the march has reached 6,500 signatures, though Khan insists that power to do so “lies with the home secretary” and not him.

He confirmed however, that “people have made representations to me about previous demonstrations, about flags being thrown down.”

A spokesman for the Community Security Trust (CST) has previously told Jewish News: “We have long argued that it is deeply unacceptable for Hezbollah flags to be flown here in the UK, especially on this annual outpouring of hatred.

“Hezbollah itself makes no distinction between its political and military wings and the flag includes an assault rifle, so there is no mistaking what is going on here.”

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