A minister on Tuesday firmly backed the Met Police’s handling of the coronation and blamed protestors for getting themselves arrested.
Health minister Neil O’Brien argued that the police stopped “silly and irresponsible” demonstrations in London which could have led to people watching the procession being “trampled” by horses if they had been scared by people throwing rape alarms at them.
Scotland Yard has been accused of heavy-handed tactics and of wrongly arresting people.
But Mr O’Brien told GB News: “The police did a really excellent job over the coronation, enabling a fantastic, joyous national event to take place without incident, stopping people who wanted to do silly and irresponsible things like setting off rape alarms from disrupting events.
“So, I think they did a good job.
“It’s obviously regrettable if anybody gets themselves arrested on what should be a really good occasion for the nation.
“But I think the police did a good job overall.”
Pressed on the reports that some of those arrested with the rape alarms worked for a charity trying to protect women, he insisted: “The threat was that people were going to deliberately let off rape alarms in order to scare horses, disrupt that procession.
“It would have been a tremendously dangerous thing to do, if you startle those horses, people are going to be trampled.
“As well as being disruptive, it could have been a really dangerous, stupid thing to do, so I think the police did the right thing in keeping order, enforcing generally decent behaviour.
“In a difficult scenario, they always have to take tough decisions and it’s not for me to second guess every single decision that they make but overall I think they did a good job.”
Later on Sky News he admitted that mistakes are sometimes made by the police.
Former shadow home secretary David Davis, also a Tory MP, tweeted: “I don’t agree with these Republicans, but their right to protest must be protected.
“This is the second time UK police forces have been heavy handed since the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
“”It is time for them to recalibrate their behaviour.”
Shadow levelling up secretary Lisa Nandy said that something had “gone wrong” following arrests of six anti-monarchy protesters ahead of the King’s coronation.
She told BBC Breakfast: “Clearly, something has gone wrong in this case.
“Peaceful protest is an important part of British democracy. The Met accepted that and I think the Mayor of London is right to ask for a review to determine what exactly went wrong in this case.
“Whatever it was, this was a very complex policing operation. It largely went off without a hitch and I think the police deserve credit for that.
“But where there are incidents like this, we have to take them seriously and I think that it’s right that we learn the lessons and take steps to rectify that.”
On the use of powers under the controversial Public Order Act, she said: “It’s not clear in this case whether the problem is with the legislation, or whether the problem is more operational and a matter for the police.”