Rebel MPs cheered by pro-democracy supporters at People's Vote rally in Westminster
PUBLISHED: 21:56 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 22:01 04 September 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
Dominic Grieve and Phillip Lee were greeted with cheering and applause by pro-democracy campaigners as they spoke at a cross party rally outside parliament.
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Hundreds of people filled Parliament Square for the Defend Our Democracy rally, organised by the People's Vote campaign, which featured talks from Labour, Green Party and Liberal Democrat MPs.
But it was former Conservative Grieve who received some of the biggest cheers as he went on stage to chants of "Oh, Dominic Grieve", a chant usually reserved for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Addressing the crowd, he said: "It fills me with horror to see a Conservative government behaving more like a revolutionary junta, threatening to disregard every democratic norm.
"If they decide to get rid of me, then I am quite pleased."
At times, the cheers turned to chants of "Johnson out" as speakers took turns to criticise the prime minister and the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.
Meanwhile a small contingent of Brexit supporters heckled Labour MPs shouting "Leave means Leave" and "left wing coup" as they walked away from Parliament Square.
Protesters waved blue EU flags and placards calling for a people's vote during the evening.
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Retired secondary school headteacher Ashley Pellegrini, 70, said he travelled up from Dorset in "defence of democracy".
He told PA: "I am absolutely appalled that 21 Conservative MPs who have been loyal to their party and country have had the whip withdrawn.
The Labour-turned-Liberal Democrat supporter said: "I feel democracy is dying within the country."
Meanwhile, London tourist guide Kate Palmer, 74, said she was unsure as to whether she would like to see another election.
"I am not sure another election will change anything at the moment, especially with the unpopularity of the leader of the Labour Party," Palmer, of Tulse Hill, south London, said.
"Because of our awful voting system it would solve anything, it might make things worse."
Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas and Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson were among the rally's speakers.
Lucas said: "If they try to close down parliament we will set up another one.
"If they try to close down the House of Commons, we will close down the streets."
Across the road from Parliament Square was a small contingent of Brexit supporters, who stood by placards reading Leave Means Leave.
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