Protesters return to Town Hall amid tight security

Protestors calling for the resignation of a Peterborough councillor outside the Town Hall ahead of a reconvened full council meeting.
Protestors calling for the resignation of a Peterborough councillor outside the Town Hall ahead of a reconvened full council meeting.

Protesters calling for the resignation of a Peterborough councillor gathered outside the Town Hall amid tight security ahead of a reconvened full council meeting.

The protesters were demanding the resignation from the council of Cllr Andy Coles and a previous protest at last Wednesday’s full council meeting resulted in that meeting being abandoned.

Security was present inside the Town Hall ahead of the reconvened full council meeting.

Security was present inside the Town Hall ahead of the reconvened full council meeting.

The demonstration ahead of tonight’s (Wednesday, July 26) reconvened full council meeting was peaceful and police officers were on hand outside the Town Hall and there was further security inside.

Cllr Coles was previously Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire but resigned from that role following the airing of a Channel 4 investigation which claimed he had a relationship with a young activist while working as an undercover officer.

The programme centred on an investigation into the activities of undercover police officers in the 1990s who infiltrated a group of animal rights activists. The programme interviewed a woman who is taking legal action against the Met Police and made allegations against Cllr Coles.

The previous protests on Wednesday evening last week were organised by COPS (Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance) and began outside the Town Hall before carrying on during the full council meeting.

The mayor, Cllr John Fox, told the protesters to be quiet before ordering the public gallery to be emptied. He then left the Council Chamber while police acted as mediators between the two sides.

In the end, Cllr Fox returned to the chamber at around 8pm to announce the postponement of the meeting as the protesters would not take down a banner from the gallery unless Cllr Coles left the meeting.

The mayor’s announcement was greeted with chants of “shame on you” from the public gallery directed at Cllr Coles.