A 28-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of urinating on the memorial dedicated to Pc Keith Palmer amid violent protests in central London .

The man is being held in Essex on suspicion of outraging public decency after presenting himself at a police station, the Met Police said.

The incident, which was caught on camera on Saturday as demonstrations took place in Westminster, sparked outrage, with MP Tobias Ellwood describing the incident as “abhorrent”.

Mr Ellwood, who gave first aid to Pc Palmer as he lay dying after being stabbed to death in the grounds of Parliament by Khalid Masood in 2017, called on the man to come forward and apologise.

Home Secretary Priti Patel also hit out at the image, as she likened the protesters’ behaviour to “extreme thuggery” .

She added: “We have seen some shameful scenes today, including the desecration of Pc Keith Palmer’s memorial in Parliament, in Westminster Square, and quite frankly that is shameful, that is absolutely appalling and shameful.”

More than 100 arrested as PM brands far-right protests ‘racist thuggery’

Speaking yesterday in response to an image circulating on social media, Commander Bas Javid said: “We are aware of a disgusting and abhorrent image circulating on social media of a man appearing to urinate on a memorial to Pc Palmer.

“I feel for Pc Palmer’s family, friends and colleagues. We have immediately launched an investigation, and will gather all the evidence available to us and take appropriate action.”

The protests, which involved some far-right groups, led to more than 100 arrests , while six police officers suffered minor injuries.

The protest was organised by groups which claimed they wanted to protect statues such as Winston Churchill from vandalism.

But the demonstration turned violent after the self-proclaimed “statue defenders” took over areas near the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square and hurled missiles, smoke grenades, glass bottles and flares at police officers.

Many of those present were drinking, and there were a number of clashes with police in riot gear as crowds chanting “Tommy Robinson” and “England” while raising their arms surged towards lines of officers.

Outbursts of violence continued around the city after the 5pm deadline had passed, with the last few protesters removed from Parliament Square at around 6.45pm.

By 9pm, more than 100 people were arrested during the protest for offences including breach of the peace, violent disorder, assault on officers, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of class A drugs, and drunk and disorder.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson slammed the “racist thuggery” witnessed at the protests . He wrote on Twitter: “Racist thuggery has no place on our streets. Anyone attacking the police will be met with full force of the law.

“These marches and protests have been subverted by violence and breach current guidelines.

“Racism has no part in the UK and we must work together to make that a reality.”

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