Police thwart anti-vax protesters’ bid to storm MHRA headquarters

Union chief condemns “utterly disgraceful” behaviour of anti-vaccine campaigners outside Department of Health and Social Care executive agency
Anti-vaccine protesters outside the MHRA headquarters on Friday, 3 September 2021 Credit: @Andrewwood17/Twitter

By Jim Dunton

06 Sep 2021

Protesters who tried to storm the headquarters of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in an anti-vaccine demonstration have been condemned as “utterly disgraceful” by the general secretary of civil service union Prospect.

Mike Clancy said the so-called “anti-vaxxers” who tried to gain entry to the MHRA’s offices at Canary Wharf in east London were using a false narrative to target “heroes of the pandemic” who had contributed to saving thousands of lives.

The MHRA is an executive agency of the Department for Health and Social Care and is responsible for approving the safety, quality and effectiveness of vaccines, medical devices and other products.

Tower Hamlets councillor Andrew Wood posted images on Twitter that suggested more than 100 anti-vaxxers had descended at the MHRA’s Cabot Square headquarters on Friday afternoon. The Metropolitan Police confirmed it had dispatched officers to the building to guard its entrance.

Prospect’s Clancy paid tribute to the resolve of MHRA staff and to the other civil servants based at the 10 South Colonnade Building, which is home to the government’s East London Hub.

“Staff at the MHRA, including Prospect members, are heroes of the pandemic and have contributed to a Herculean effort to save thousands of lives,” he said.

“To see these workers targeted in this way in their workplace is utterly disgraceful, and only further discredits the perpetrators and their false narrative.

“Prospect sends our solidarity to MHRA and other staff in the building and stands ready to support members through this incident.

“These awful scenes will only serve to strengthen our resolve to campaign on behalf of those who have worked tirelessly to keep the public safe through these extraordinary times.”

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