Edinburgh police arrest and charge councillor after ‘unlawful’ anti-lockdown protests

Two protests against the coronavirus lockdown were held “in opposition to the Covid-19 restrictions”, Police Scotland said.

Thursday, 10th September 2020, 8:10 pm

A local authority councillor accused of organising two anti-lockdown demonstrations in the Capital is facing prosecution this evening.

Police Scotland officers detained North Lanarkshire Council member Paddy Hogg, 60, after a protest outside the Holyrood parliament building yesterday and following a large-scale demonstration in Holyrood Park last weekend.

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He was interviewed under caution and later formally charged with culpable and reckless conduct after “two unlawful gatherings were held in Edinburgh”.

Police Scotland officers detained North Lanarkshire Council member Paddy Hogg, 60, after a protest outside the Holyrood parliament building yesterday and following a large-scale demonstration in Holyrood Park last weekend.
Police Scotland officers detained North Lanarkshire Council member Paddy Hogg, 60, after a protest outside the Holyrood parliament building yesterday and following a large-scale demonstration in Holyrood Park last weekend.

In a statement, the force said: “The first was held during the afternoon of Saturday, September 5, and the second on Thursday, September 10, outside the Scottish Parliament and in the surrounding areas.

“A 60-year-old man has now been charged in connection with both gatherings, which were held in opposition to the Covid-19 restrictions, and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

Superintendent David Robertson of Edinburgh Division said: “Officers attended both of these gatherings to help ensure the safety of the public and to remind those attending to adhere to the current guidelines.

"We engaged with a number of people and encouraged them to comply with the law. As we have routinely said, enforcement will be a last resort but we will use the powers at our disposal where required to do so.

“We are asking people to take personal responsibility and remember that the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading."

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