31 Jan 2011

Bid to turf out unwanted Royal wedding watchers

12:54 pm on 31 January 2011

Legal bids are being launched to clear out a shanty town of tents set up by anti-war protesters near London's Westminster Abbey before the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The car conveying Ms Middleton to the church on 29 April will drive past the camp and it is being viewed as an opportunity for the protesters to gain international exposure.

But some heavy hitters are doing their best to ensure the protesters, some of whom have been camped in Parliament Square for nearly a decade, are cleared out in time for the spring wedding.

The Sunday Times newspaper said London mayor Boris Johnson is off to the High Court in his quest to remove anti-war campaigners Brian Haw and Barbara Tucker, while the local council is seeking permission to shift the tents that have popped up on adjoining pavement.

The newspaper said British Prime Minister David Cameron wants the protesters to be moved on to ensure the wedding provides the best advertisement possible for British tourism.

Mr Haw has shown an ability to keep authorities at bay in the past, using some high-powered legal help to avoid being turfed out.

"This is a World Heritage site and and we're seemingly unable to do anything about it," said leader of Westminster city council, Colin Barrow.

"I think that after nine years they've made their point.

"In relation to the royal wedding, parliament may have to consider emergency legislation."