Coronavirus: Piers Corbyn sues police for unlawful arrest and assault

Piers Corbyn is to sue South Yorkshire Police for damages for unlawful arrest, assault and false imprisonment (for 24 hours) after he addressed an anti-lockdown protest in Sheffield on 5 September 2020. His solicitor, Richard Parry, a specialist in the right to protest, described the arrest and detention of Mr Corbyn, 73, as ‘arbitrary, disproportionate and unnecessary’.

Mr Corbyn is also to sue the Metropolitan Police, who on 29 August 2020 arrested, and imprisoned him for 10 hours before issuing a £10,000 fixed penalty notice, the first in London for alleged breach of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions)(No. 2)(England) Regulations 2020, as amended, which came into force in England the previous day.

Nick Stanage, a specialist in civil actions against the police, is instructed in both claims, which raise significant legal questions about selective political policing and the fundamental freedoms of speech and assembly.

Further insights from Doughty Street Chambers on Covid 19 are here and here. Members have also commented on liberty during lockdown here and here.