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The DUP’s East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson was speaking during the Police Crime and Sentencing Bill and expressed the Party’s opposition to draconian measures designed to curb protests.

The DUP supported a Labour amendment to the Bill.

Mr Robinson said,

“I have heard the Government’s position around what they intend, but the loose and lazy way the legislation is drafted would make a dictator blush. We oppose, in the strongest possible terms the overarching, sweeping and draconian provisions on protest.

Protests will be noisy. Protests will disrupt and no matter how offensive we may find the issue at their heart, the right to protest should be protected.

Unless we wish to proceed with societal constraints that only permit graceful, genteel and humble protest, I would urge the Government to indicate that they accept the strength of feeling on this issue; that they will work with colleagues across Parliament to significantly amend the provisions and that they will not proceed without publishing guidance underpinned by statue about the operative implications.”