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Anti-lockdown marchers in London compare Covid-19 to man flu

Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers, a regular demonstrator, was once again prominent among the protesters.

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The brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Piers Corbyn, speaks to protesters during an anti-lockdown rally on Oxford Street, London (Dominic Llipinski/PA)

The brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Piers Corbyn, speaks to protesters during an anti-lockdown rally on Oxford Street, London (Dominic Llipinski/PA)

The brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Piers Corbyn, speaks to protesters during an anti-lockdown rally on Oxford Street, London (Dominic Llipinski/PA)

Anti-lockdown campaigners marched through London in protest at Government restrictions aimed at curbing coronavirus.

Led by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers, demonstrators chanted “stick your poison vaccine up your arse”, “take off your masks” and “we are the 99%” as they walked down Oxford Street.

Some carried placards blaming the virus on the new 5G network, while others claimed the virus itself was a hoax.

The protest comes on the day London was placed in Tier 2 lockdown measures, meaning Londoners are now banned from meeting people from outside their household indoors, and a maximum of six outdoors.

Demonstrators took a detour to Rathbone Square to stand outside Facebook’s London headquarters, although nobody was able to tell the PA news agency if they were for or against the social media giant, which many have blamed for spreading pandemic misinformation.

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Protesters during an anti-lockdown rally pass a social distancing sign on Tottenham Court Road, London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Protesters during an anti-lockdown rally pass a social distancing sign on Tottenham Court Road, London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

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Protesters during an anti-lockdown rally pass a social distancing sign on Tottenham Court Road, London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The protest later came to a halt in Leicester Square outside the Imax theatre, although it was unclear why as they had originally stated they were heading for Downing Street.

Many of those gathered carried signs reading “my body, my choice”, a slogan borrowed from the pro-choice movement.

One of the organisers told a breakaway group outside Downing Street: “Man flu has closed our country and crushed our economy.”

Piers Corbyn, who has previously been fined the maximum £10,000 for his anti-lockdown protests, also took part in a demonstration in Soho on Friday night.

“We’re here to drink against the curfew,” he said.

“To oppose the lockdowns, to oppose job losses caused by lockdowns, to oppose all of of it.

“The whole lot should be lifted now.”

Scotland Yard said that there had been just one arrest during Saturday’s protest.

The Met said the demonstrators had complied with legal requirements allowing them to gather in a group larger than six people by completing and complying with a risk assessment.

The force said: “Officers have monitored the protest throughout the day ensuring compliance with the risk assessment and where there were any deviations from the risk assessment, officers engaged, explained and encouraged compliance with the regulations.

“Enforcement remains a last resort and, as of 4.45pm there has been one man arrested on suspicion of assault. He has been taken in to custody.”

The man was arrested in Trafalgar Square.

PA