No, water cannon will not be deployed at the pro-Brexit march

29 March 2019
What was claimed

Water cannon may be deployed today in London for a pro-Brexit march.

Our verdict

This is untrue. The Met Police do not own any water cannon and they are not currently authorised for use in England and Wales. Both the Met Police and the Mayor of London’s office confirmed they will not be using water cannon.

"There are reports that water cannon may be deployed tomorrow in London”

Gerard Batten MEP, 28 March 2019

The pro-Brexit “March to Leave” is set to arrive in Westminster around 4pm this afternoon. The UKIP MEP for London, Gerard Batten, has suggested that the marchers could be met with water cannon when they arrive.

This is flatly untrue. The Metropolitan Police does not have any water cannon, and they are not currently authorised for use in England and Wales.

The Mayor of London’s Office (which oversees policing in London) approved the purchase of three water cannon in 2014, but they were sold off again late last year without ever having been used.

We spoke to the Mayor’s Office and it confirmed to us that no water cannon will be used in today’s march.

The Metropolitan Police has also stated today that: “No water cannons are owned or used by the Met Police. Any suggestion that we are intending to use water cannons or seeking to agitate any protestors is baseless and false.”

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