'Stop Brexit Man' may be banned from using a sound system
‘Stop Brexit Man’ who has tormented politicians by blasting loud music outside Westminster could be banned from using a sound system as the authorities try to end the racket
- Steve Bray torments MPs with pop songs played at 90 decibels at Westminster
- The Home Office are understood to be considering approaches to stop him
- One possible tactic to stop Mr Bray is a Community Protection Notice
A notorious activist whose noisy protests disrupt Westminster every week may finally be silenced.
The Home Office and Met Police are understood to be considering a range of approaches to stop Steve Bray, known as ‘Stop Brexit Man’, from using a sound system to blast music outside the Houses of Parliament and major Whitehall departments – for eight hours at a time.
Mr Bray torments MPs and civil servants with pop songs played at 90 decibels, which also often break into TV broadcasts.
One possible tactic to stop Mr Bray is a Community Protection Notice – a written warning followed by a £100 on-the-spot fine or prosecution if it is breached.
For this, Labour-run Westminster Council would have to work with authorities – and be persuaded Mr Bray’s activities are not a genuine political protest. His actions have so far been deemed by council staff to be protected by human rights law.
NUISANCE: Steve Bray blasts music outside Westminster for hours at a time (file image)
Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson called on the council to act. He told the MoS: ‘If he rocked up to their offices with his music blaring out, they would move him on.’
Other options include tightening the law on ‘one-man protests’ to cover the cumulative effect of weeks of noise.
A Met spokesman said: ‘This is an area of considerable protest. Where that reaches beyond reasonable boundaries, we will take appropriate action.’
A former minister said he could easily be dealt with under existing laws.
‘He is waging a campaign of targeted harassment and intimidation against democratically elected politicians.
‘The law is clear on harassment, and on the unedifying disruption and nuisance he brings to Westminster which the police should stop.’
And one MP added: ‘It’s not a genuine political protest – he’s just trying to making a living from being a public nuisance.’
Civil servants are also considering tightening up parts of a law passed last year that were intended to deal with one-man protests such as his.
Mr Bray torments MPs and civil servants with pop songs played at 90 decibels
Section 79 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 imposed conditions on ‘one-person protests’, allowing police officers to impose conditions on them if they believe ‘that the noise generated by the person carrying on the protest may result in serious disruption to the activities of an organisation which are carried on in the vicinity of the protest’.
But the Metropolitan Police has not used the powers conferred by the law since it was passed last June, even though Mr Bray has set up his sound system on a traffic island at the end of Parliament Street almost every Wednesday since then – to coincide with Prime Minister’s Questions.
It is believed that police do not think the noise his protest makes does not reach the threshold for an offence under the act, so the Home Office is considering amending it to make it clear that ‘serious disruption’ can include a cumulative effect from weeks of noise rather than just a one-off.
Police are also said to be concerned about Mr Bray’s increasingly aggressive behaviour towards MPs.
He often harangues Conservative backbenchers and even ministers, chases them down the street and films them as they walk through Westminster.
One possible tactic to stop Mr Bray is a Community Protection Notice – a written warning followed by a £100 on-the-spot fine or prosecution if it is breached (file image)
In March his antics online also got him into trouble after he shared an image of Home Secretary Suella Braverman laughing that had been doctored to show her standing outside Auschwitz (file image)
When Boris Johnson gave his farewell speech outside No 10, Mr Bray tried to drown him out by playing the Benny Hill theme tune (file image)
When Boris Johnson gave his farewell speech outside No 10, Mr Bray tried to drown him out by playing the Benny Hill theme tune and a parody of the pop song Bye Bye Baby.
In one recent clip posted on his Twitter account, he told Environment Secretary Therese Coffey as she got out of a Range Rover near Downing Street: ‘You’re an absolute disgrace to this country. You’ll be out of a job soon, thankfully.’
Mr Bray regularly clashes with Mr Anderson and earlier this year reported him to the police for supposedly swiping his distinctive top hat – although he was told that no crime had been committed.
In March his antics online also got him into trouble after he shared an image of Home Secretary Suella Braverman laughing that had been doctored to show her standing outside Auschwitz.
Although Mr Bray did have his equipment seized last June, raising hopes that he would be kept quiet under the new anti-protest law, police used powers under an older act – but they later gave the two amplifiers back to him.
He told a magazine: ‘A few weeks later, they’re calling me up saying they’re clogging up their evidence room, and can I come and collect them.’
Last night a spokesman for the Met said: ‘This is an area of considerable protest, and where that reaches beyond the boundaries of what is reasonable, we will take appropriate action.’
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