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Brexit

Tens of thousands protest against PM's suspension of Parliament

Rick Findler/PA Wire

Large-scale protests against the Prime Minister's controversial plan to suspend Parliament took place in city centres across the UK this weekend.

Chants of "shame on you" were directed at Boris Johnson by demonstrators outside Downing Street on Saturday, as streets around Westminster were brought to a standstill.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told thousands at a Glasgow rally that he was "proud" to tell Mr Johnson "no way, it's our Parliament".

The Prime Minister should "think on", he said, adding: "It's not on and we're not having it."

Crowds more than a thousand strong gathered for rallies in cities including York, Manchester, Newcastle and Bristol.

There were 32 protests planned across the UK on Saturday organised by anti-Brexit campaign group Another Europe Is Possible, which has called for daily demonstrations to take place.

Protesters gathered outside Oxford University's Balliol College, which was attended by Mr Johnson, to express their displeasure about his handling of Brexit.

Lesley McKie, who was demonstrating at the college with her family, criticised the "undemocratic actions of Boris Johnson and (senior adviser) Dominic Cummings".

Denouncing the Prime Minister outside the institution where he established his "political profile" sends "a powerful message to Johnson and others leading this coup", she added.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott addressed the London protesters from a stage near Downing Street.

She told the crowds: "We cannot allow Boris Johnson to shut down Parliament and to shut down the voice of ordinary British people."

After speaking at a demonstration in her Brighton constituency, former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas thanked those who turned out to protest, adding: "This is what democracy looks like."

Westminster Bridge was blocked by protesters, who were shouting: "If you shut down our Parliament, we shut down your bridge."

A small group of counter-protesters also demonstrating in central London unfurled a banner reading "Brexit Now" by the Cenotaph.

The Metropolitan Police said that three people have been arrested at the demonstration in London.

Among them was London Assembly member Caroline Russell, according to a spokeswoman for the Green Party.

Footage posted on social media appeared to show the politician being led away from the crowds in handcuffs after she had been sitting and blocking the road.

Chris McHugh, 33, who works for Labour MP Liz Twist and was demonstrating in Newcastle, said the protest was about "protecting democracy".

He added: "The fact that thousands have taken to the streets of Newcastle today is so telling."

Protests were also taking place in cities including Birmingham, Liverpool, Swansea, Leeds, Belfast and Aberdeen.

They were also being held in towns including Bodmin in Cornwall and Clitheroe in Lancashire.

Alena Ivanova, from Another Europe Is Possible, said: "Today's protests are the beginning of something huge - they have been inspiring, full of youth and diversity and energy."

She added that the daily protests must "grow into the millions" in "the centre of every town in the country".

The protests were triggered by the PM's decision to suspend Parliament for up to five weeks ahead of the October 31 Brexit deadline.

Opponents claimed the move was aimed at stopping discussion of Brexit and hampering cross-party efforts to block the prospect of a no-deal withdrawal from the European Union - an allegation denied by Mr Johnson.