News

Bagpiper shoved in mystery Remembrance Sunday incident says he ‘provoked’ police

A bagpiper shoved by an officer at a Remembrance Sunday event appears to say that he provoked police before the incident, new footage shows.

The bagpiper was captured marching towards an officer, then falling on the ground as a policeman shoved him away, as crowds gathered to pay their respects to fallen soldiers.

A Met Police spokesperson said the force is investigating the wider context of the incident at the Cenotaph at Whitehall, London, yesterday.

The Cenotaph was sealed off with a barrier and classed as a restricted area.

It said a 47-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of common assault on an emergency worker, and released under investigation.

The footage captures the bagpiper marching up and down a cordoned area as he plays the pipes.

It then records the crowd erupting in anger as the bagpiper is pushed by a policeman, stumbles backwards, then falls to the ground.

One onlooker can be heard in the footage shouting: “What the hell? How dare you? You’re disgusting!”

He then went on to deliver a speech to the crowd about a “police state”, according to witnesses.

But in a separate video, the bagpiper appears to claim it was a stunt, saying: “Sometimes you have to sometimes create to get what you want,” telling onlookers – “I actually did it. I provoked them.”

The footage shows a bagpiper, purportedly the same man recorded in the initial footage, saying he walked towards an officer purposefully.

In the second video of the piper, a man wearing a kilt and a military beret is recorded saying: “I actually did it. I provoked them.

“They did actually do it (referring to police pushing him) but in my training if you want to get what you want and if you want things to happen then sometimes you have to sometimes create to get what you want.

“Do you honestly think I give a f*** about being thrown over? I don’t.

“It’s all in the movement right. Because all I was doing was turning. It only takes a few inches to be closer to them to make them react.”

It was not immediately clear why the incident took place.

Remembrance Sunday services were limited this year due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Members of the public were being urged not to go out to war memorials in crowds to pay their respects this year, to avoid spreading Covid-19.

In a separate clip live-streamed on YouTube, a police officer can be seen explaining to the bagpiper that the group has breached the government’s coronavirus rules, the Daily Star Online reports.

A Met Police statement issued on Monday said: “Police are aware of a video circulating online which shows an officer using force after a man had tried to enter a restricted area in Whitehall SW1.

“The actions of the officer will be looked at in the wider context of this incident.

“The man had previously been asked to wait while the restricted area was opened up and he would be able to attend the Cenotaph.

“The road was closed off as the Remembrance Sunday event this year was a closed ceremony due to Covid restrictions.

“The area was later opened up to members of the public.

“A man, aged 47, was arrested on suspicion of common assault on an emergency worker. He was taken into police custody and subsequently released under investigation.”