The Met Police has been slammed for refusing to say how much it spent on two failed appeals against protesters who organised a vigil for Sarah Everard.
The force contested a ruling by High Court judges that it had acted unlawfully by threatening Reclaim These Streets (RTS) with fines of £10,000 and possible prosecution if the planned vigil on Clapham Common went ahead in March last year, during a Covid lockdown.
But the Met’s appeal was dismissed twice, with judges saying it case involved “selective and misleading analysis” and had “no arguable basis”.
Now the embattled police force is refusing to say how much it spent in external legal fees for these fruitless appeals, saying it would be unfair on the lawyers involved and breach their data protection rights.
Jamie Klingler, an activist with Reclaim These Streets, said the public had a right to know how much of its money had been spent, and that the Met was “covering itself at every turn”.
RTS pulled out of organising the vigil after the threats from the Met, but it went ahead anyway and saw police condemned for their heavy-handed tactics.