Yesterday night’s 14 defeats by the House of Lords were inflicted on the Government for its plan to increase police power to stop protests. The House of Lords also condemned ministers for trying ban noisey demonstrations. 

The Government is pushing ahead with its mammoth Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill but the Lords have taken an axe to many of the key measures. 

Ministers were defeated over plans which would allow police to stop protests which are judged to be too loud and over plans to create a new offence to target protesters who lock themselves to something. 

Peers described the proposal to crackdown noise as “plain nasty” and asked why it was included in the legislation. He argued that ministers were unable to use common sense, which is a very foolish argument. 

The damaging defeats represent a significant set back for Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel as they seek to introduce the bill largely in response to protest action taken by groups like Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain. 

Today’s ministers made it clear that they intend to be able to reinstate measures that were deleted by Lords, when the House of Commons returns with the legislation draft. 

This will set the Government and the Upper Chamber on an collision course, as they get into the back-and forth pingpong process in which MPs vote for measures and their peers vote to repeal them.       

The House of Lords last night inflicted 14 defeats on the Government over its plans to give the police greater powers to stop disruptive protests

Last night, 14 defeats were inflicted by the House of Lords against the Government for its plan to increase the powers of the police to stop protests.

The damaging defeats represent a significant set back for Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel

Boris Johnson’s and Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, have suffered significant losses.

Peers supported a Labour-led Amendment by 261 votes against 166. This was a majority vote of 95 to remove the power. Conditions for protest marches deemed too noisy 

Liberal Democrats proposed a similar amendment, which was passed with 238 votes to 171, an overwhelming majority of 67.    

Protests against draft legislation broke out outside Parliament. Drumming was also heard inside the building. 

Lord Coaker, Labour’s frontbencher for Labour said that the right to protest in this nation has never had to be restricted by noise.

“I think that protesting properly in democracy requires making noises.

Green Party peer Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb branded the Government move to impose noise conditions as ‘repressive’, adding: ‘They are plain nasty and they really have to go.’

Tory counterparts criticised the government, saying they were too restrictive. 

Lord Deben, Tory peer and author said that: “We are a democratic country and if it isn’t possible for me to go out and point out the fact that I find a wide range of things done by any Government unacceptable then I am seriously violating my human rights.” 

“Dissenting voices and peaceful protests are vital parts of democratic democracy.” It goes too far.  

Lord Dubs, a Labour peer and refugee campaigner, said that without noisy demonstrations many changes won’t occur. This is how democracy works, and it is what this government is trying to do.

Baroness Hoey was a former Labour MP and now sits as an unaffiliated peer. She said that the idea that anybody can demonstrate without making noise is so absurd that it makes me wonder how someone could have done this.  

Lord Pannick (leading QC) said, “The ability to display and make a noise while demonstrating is a very important safety valve in civil society. It is possible to create more trouble if this safety valve is closed.

Lord Macdonald, an ex-director of public prosecutions who is now independent crossbencher from the House of Commons, said that although he doesn’t think government wants to destroy democracy and steal all our rights as free citizens, he thinks they are extremely foolish.

The defeats came as protests against the draft legislation took place outside Parliament, with the sound of drumming audible in the chamber

Protests against the legislation were held outside Parliament. The sound of drumming was heard in the chamber.

Peers backed a Labour-led amendment by 261 votes to 166, a majority of 95, to scrap the proposed power to impose conditions on protest marches judged to be too noisy

A Labour-led Labour amendment was supported by Peers with 261 votes to 166, a majority 95 to repeal the power to place conditions on protest marches deemed too loud.

But Home Office Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford defended the measures, telling the chamber: ‘Noise generated by protesters can have a significant and detrimental impact on the wider public. 

“It’s unacceptable that some protests could seriously disrupt the lives and daily life of normal people. It is right that the government gives police tools to deal with disruptive protests. 

Elle added that these measures did not prevent noisy protests. Protests are expected to continue in their current form without conditions. 

“But it is correct that police have to be able to respond effectively to protests that cause disproportionate harm or disruption. 

Lords rejected the Government’s attempt to establish a new crime of locking on. This is a tactic that protesters use to keep it hard to get them out. The penalty could be as high as a year in jail. This provision was defeated by 216 votes against 163, which is 53 percent.

The Peers were also able to reduce the harsher sentence plans for people blocking roads. While the Government desired that this provision be applied to all roads, peers suggested it should only apply to motorways and major routes.  

Dominic Raab, Deputy Prime Minister, suggested that this morning the Government would bring back the removed measures.

When asked if the animals would be reinstated, Justice Secretary said that they would.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab suggested this morning that the Government will bring back the deleted measures

Dominic Raab (Deputy Prime Minister) suggested today that the Government would restore the deleted measures

“In terms of noise, yes, we support peaceful, rambunctious protest but not in the way of the law-abiding majority.” 

Now that the bill is almost through its passage through Lords, it will be sent back to Commons for MPs to consider any changes made by peers.  

All changes made to the Commons then will be forwarded to the Lords to peer review in the process called ‘pingpong’.  

Although peers might decide to challenge the Government at the beginning of pingpong, they are expected to eventually back down due to the primacy enjoyed by elected Commons.