FORMER Barrow MP and now government advisor Lord Walney may recommend a change allowing police to prevent demonstrations that could fuel antisemitism. 

John Woodcock is a life peer at the House of Lords as The Lord Walney.

He was the Barrow and Furness MP until November 6, 2019. 

He is now the UK government's adviser on political violence and disruption and is conducting a review on giving police stronger powers to prevent demonstrations that could stoke antisemitic crime. This may result in him recommending a change in law. 

There have been many pro-Palestinian protests in the capital and across the UK since Israel launched an invasion of Gaza in a bid to dismantle Hamas following a terrorist attack last month, in which 1,200 people died and more than 200 were taken as hostages.

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There have been calls for a ceasefire as Gaza is plunged into what The British Red Cross and UNICEF call a humanitarian crisis impacting children. 

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Lord Walney said: “The problem you have seen over recent weeks is the police grappling with the public order regulations and deciding in this last week, for example, that they didn’t think there was sufficient probability of serious public disorder to be able to ban the march.

“I think that seems to be a fine decision and we should probably dig more into whether they are making the right call.

“What the police are unable to take into account is the explosion of antisemitism that is being recorded in the capital and across the UK — the Community Security Trust has talked about a more than 10-fold increase in antisemitic attacks, in fear, in intimidation, that has happened since October 7.

“The marches are clearly a factor in that but that cumulative build-up of threat to a community cannot currently easily, neatly, be taken into account by police in making a decision which they know is going to be legally challenged by protesters, organisers, who are determined that these should go ahead.

“So, I’m strongly minded, in looking at the situation over the last month, to recommend a change to enable the police to take into account those community factors more easily.”

He told the programme that the balance 'does not seem to be in the right place' between the right to protest and protecting Jewish people. 

He said: "I think if you look at the scale of intimidation which Jewish people in London and across the UK are feeling, we should be treating this as a national emergency.”