Piers Corbyn among 17 arrested at anti-lockdown protest on day of record cases

More than a dozen people were arrested at an anti-lockdown protest in London that took place as Covid infections reached a record high.

Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers was among the 17 people handcuffed for breaching Health Protection Regulations at the demonstration at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park.

A crowd of between 200 and 300 people gathered to protest against lockdown restrictions and their civil liberties being curtailed.

It came after Corbyn, 73, was arrested and fined on New Year’s Day for leading an anti-lockdown protest in the capital the night before.

Corbyn posted a video of what was dubbed the ‘NYE Party of Parties’ on social media.

He tweeted: ‘Over 1000 defied all threats +chanted #LetLondonLive! & #Corbyn4London after I announced I will stand for Mayor! Thank you +well done all!’ 

Corbyn has become one of the country’s leading anti-lockdown campaigners.

The conspiracy theorist has now been arrested at least five times since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and has received fines totalling more than £10,000, according to the MailOnline.

At Saturday’s protest, some were holding placards and banners including slogans like ‘freedom over fear’.

People started gathering from 1.30pm and most had gone by 4.45.

The Metropolitan Police tweeted: ‘Officers continue to engage with groups of people who have gathered in the Hyde Park area.

‘A number of people have been arrested under health protection regulations and taken into custody.

‘We urge those in the area to leave immediately.’

London has been under a tier four lockdown for two weeks amid the spread of a more infectious strain of the virus.

More than two people are generally not allowed to gather in public under the rules of tier four.

The Metropolitan Police added: ‘Officers will take enforcement action where we see clear breaches of the Tier 4 rules.

‘It’s up to all of us to make the right choices + slow the spread of the virus.’

The latest anti-lockdown protest comes after a junior A&E doctor was left ‘heartbroken’ by a group of maskless conspiracy theorists chanting ‘Covid is a hoax’ outside his hospital.

Dr Matthew Lee said he felt ‘disgusted’ after coming across the gathering as he left St Thomas’ Hospital in London on December 31.

Sharing a video of the crowd, he tweeted: ‘Worked the late A&E SHO shift on NYE and came out to this.  ‘Hundreds of maskless, drunk people in huge groups shouting “Covid is a hoax”, literally outside the building where hundreds are sick and dying.  ‘Why do people still not realise the seriousness of this pandemic?’

He added: ‘I’m disgusted but mostly heartbroken. I wish people could see the amount of #COVID19 and death in hospitals, and the sacrifices that healthcare workers make.  ‘This week alone has been so tough. Their ignorance is hurting others. I really wish people would keep themselves safe.’

Doctors and nurses have been coming forward with harrowing tales of the unbearable conditions on the frontline in a bid for people to take the virus more seriously and stick to the rules.

Today more than 57,000 infections were recorded – the highest amount since the pandemic began.

There are now more people in hospitals than during the peak of the first wave in April, with demand for intensive care surging across the country.

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