A protester who threw a Nazi salute for the camera at a pro-Brexit rally in Parliament Square did not break the law, police have said.

This is despite a police officer at the scene saying he had committed a public order offence but that arresting him would have put pro-remain protesters at risk of violence.

Campaign group Hope Not Hate said the footage demonstrates how Brexit has become a ‘mobilising force for the far right’ who have a strong presence during protests.

The man was filmed during a protest organised by the right-wing Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA), which is often accused of Islamophobia.

The DFLA have distanced themselves from the man wearing the red Make America Great Again hat and say they have no control over who attends their rallies.

He was filmed by a participant of a separate pro-remain rally organised by March for Change which also ran last Saturday.



The anti-Brexit protester told Metro.co.uk: ‘I was shocked to see how aggressive the pro-Brexit protesters were and went over to verbally confront the racist chanting and violent gestures.

‘I was even more shocked to see the man in the red Trump hat giving the Nazi salute not once but several times in the shadow of Winston Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square.

‘Even when he could see he was being filmed, he took great pride in repeating the salute again and again – many of these people were wearing England shirts but absolutely so not represent me.’

The man who took the video, who asked not to be named, said he heard people ‘singing Tommy Robinson songs’,  and ‘songs about hanging people from lampposts’.

He said there was ‘lots of talk of traitors and telling people they’re not English anymore’.

A Met Police officer told him the Nazi salute would constitute a public order offence but arresting him would have increased the risk of violence.

But in a statement, the force said: ‘The Met reviewed the footage supplied and do not believe that a criminal offence has been committed by this individual in these circumstances as a number of factors determine whether the action is treated as a public order offence.

‘Decisions to make arrests in public order situations are often risk-based and investigations into offences often take place after the event using video footage captured.



‘That is the case for this event but in the case of this footage there will not be an investigation as we do not feel it meets the threshold for a public order offence.’

They said there is separate legislation to deal with racist chanting at a football match under S3 Football Offences Act 1991.

A spokesperson from the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) said: ‘We hate Nazis, neo-Nazis or anyone who even does such a salute even if it is done in jest as a reaction to being called a Nazi, as it always gets picked up and falls back on us.

‘We hate racism in all its forms and antisemitic gestures such as this.’

They said they often write articles condemning far right groups like National Action and laid a wreath outside the New Zealand embassy in memory of the worshippers killed at the Al Noor Mosque in March.

Anti-racism group Hope not Hate said: ‘Peaceful protesting is everyone’s legitimate right – whichever side of the Brexit debate they are on.

‘Unfortunately Brexit has also become a mobilising force for the far right and they’ve regularly made their presence felt during protests outside Parliament.

‘These groups hide behind the tag of ‘pro-Brexit’ whilst using violence and intimidation to hijack public spaces – but they don’t represent anyone except themselves.’