Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and at least seven Labour shadow ministers will tomorrow (Saturday) join Michael Heseltine, Nicola Sturgeon, dozens of MPs - and hundreds of thousands of people from every walk of life - on one of the biggest protest marches Britain has ever seen.
The Put It To The People March from Park Lane to Parliament Square comes just days before the UK is due to leave the European Union amid a sense of national emergency with desperate efforts by MPs to prevent a “no deal Brexit,” and then chart a new way forward.
Commenting, Sadiq Khan said:
“Brexit is a complete and utter mess. We're now days away from falling off a cliff edge with catastrophic consequences. Enough is enough. It's time to take this out of the hands of politicians and put it back to the people.
“I’ll be marching on Saturday with people from every part of our country – from every walk of life - to demand that the British people get the final say. No matter how you voted in the referendum, we can all agree that the path we’re being forced to follow is not in the national interest. Everyone now deserves to have their say in how we move forward as a country. So join us on Saturday to make sure your voice is heard - before it’s too late.”
As the politician with the biggest personal electoral mandate in the UK, Mr Khan’s presence on the march sends a strong signal to Labour’s leadership: which has been criticised for dragging its feet over implementing agreed policy to campaign for a new public vote.
Also marching will be Lord Heseltine, former Conservative deputy Prime Minister.
Commenting, Lord Heseltine said:
“Tomorrow, I will join hundreds of thousands of British people demanding a People's Vote on Brexit.
“The Put it to the People march will give voice to the growing concern in the nation that Brexit is going horribly wrong.
“This is a march to stop this madness.
“The last two years has seen a great unravelling, of the promises made during the Referendum, of the Prime Minister's deal and of trust in politics. Now, with a deal barely no-one supports and certainly no-one loves and with time running out to free our Parliament from deadlock the only way I can see to resolve this national crisis is to take this decision back to the British public.
“There is another way. A final defeat for the Prime Minister's deal should be the signal for MPs from across the political divide to work together to find first the political will and then the time and space to hold a People's Vote.
“Europe stands ready to help but we need to work together to find a solution to this crisis of our democracy.
“I believe we can still do it. I believe in Britain and our future in Europe and I believe we still have leaders who can lead us through this crisis. It is time for them to step up and it is time for the rest of us to march.
“Together, let's make a difference. Park Lane to Parliament. Saturday. High Noon.”
Labour frontbenchers who have confirmed they are marching tomorrow include:
- Clive Lewis, the shadow Treasury minister.
- Rosena Alin Khan, the shadow sport minister.
- Marsha De Cordova, the shadow minister for disabled people.
- Luke Pollard, the shadow communities minister.
- Rachael Maskell, the shadow transport minister.
- Steve Reed, the shadow minister for civil society.
Some of these are expected to speak before the main rally on a “left stage” in Stanhope Gate, just off Park Lane, alongside other prominent MPs such as Kate Osamor, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Alex Sobel and Matt Rodda.
Several dozen Labour, Conservative, SNP, Liberal Democrat, Independent Group and Green MPs have confirmed they will be on the march where their presence alongside hundreds of thousands of protesters will be a stark rebuke to Theresa May’s efforts this week to play “the people” off against Parliament.
Keynote speakers at the rally in Parliament Square will include Nicola Sturgeon and Lord Michael Heseltine. The First Minister of Scotland and the former deputy Prime Minister will take the stage along with other leading figures in UK politics including:
- Conservatives MPs such as former Cabinet minister Justine Greening, ex-Attorney General Dominic Grieveand former justice minister Dr Philip Lee
- Labour MPs Jess Phillips and David Lammy
- Anna Soubry, the former business minister and Independent Group MP
- Jo Swinson, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats
- Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP
- Ian Blackford, the leader of the SNP in Westminster.
Other keynote speakers will be announced later.