No plans to change law after 'jihad' protest chants, No 10 says as Braverman challenges Met

There are no plans to change the law to help police crackdown on pro-Palestine demonstrators calling for "jihad" against Israel, Number 10 has confirmed.

A video of a Hizb ut-Tahrir protest surfaced over the weekend, where a member of the crowd could be heard chanting words including "jihad, jihad".

However, the Metropolitan Police posted on social media that specialist counterterrorism officers had not identified any offences arising from the clip.

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Home Secretary Suella Braverman is currently meeting the commissioner of the force, Sir Mark Rowley, to challenge him over the decision not to arrest.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, a source close to her said "there can be no place for incitement to hatred or violence" on UK streets and police should "crackdown on anyone breaking the law".

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also called on the government to look at "gaps in the law" so stronger action can be taken in the future.

But asked on Monday whether forces would be given more powers to tackle such incidents, the prime minister's official spokesman said: "Not that I'm aware of."

Some ministers have condemned the police for their handling of rallies in London and other cities including Birmingham, Cardiff and Belfast over the weekend in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

But in a statement, the Met said: "The word [jihad] has a number of meanings but we know the public will most commonly associate it with terrorism.

"Specialist officers have assessed the video and have not identified any offences arising from the specific clip. We have also sought advice from specialist Crown Prosecution Service lawyers, who have reached the same conclusion.

"However, recognising the way language like this will be interpreted by the public and the divisive impact it will have, officers identified the man involved and spoke to him to discourage any repeat of similar chanting."

Jihad can mean struggle or effort, but it has also been taken to refer to holy war.

Sir Mark was already scheduled to meet Ms Braverman later today.

A source close to the home secretary said: "There can be no place for incitement to hatred or violence on Britain's streets and, as the home secretary has made clear, the police are urged to crack down on anyone breaking the law."

Transport Secretary Mark Harper urged the Met to use "the full force of the law" in light of the "disturbing" videos.

Asked by Sky News' Kay Burley whether the law itself needed to be looked at, he replied: "The home secretary will have those conversations with the police, as you would expect her to."

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After calling on the government to examine the current law, Labour's Sir Keir said: "There's been a huge increase in hate crime in the last couple of weeks, tragically. We've all got a duty to clamp down on hate crime whatever political party we're in," he said.

"Obviously, the police are independent operationally, so these are decisions for them.

"I think there have already been identified some gaps in the law in a previous review under this government and I think the government needs to look at whether there are gaps in the law that need to be addressed as well."

On Sunday, Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick told Sky News' Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips arrests had been made under terror offences, but it was "an operational matter" for the police and CPS over whether to press charges.

But the Community Security Trust - a Jewish safety organisation - criticised the Met and warned they had given the "impression of legitimising obnoxious and hateful behaviour".

In a message on the Hizb ut-Tahrir website, explaining why it decided to hold demonstrations on Saturday outside the Egyptian and Turkish Embassies in London, the group said Palestinians have been subject to "brutal oppression" and called on Egypt and Turkey to unite in "rescuing their Palestinian brothers and sisters".