§ Lord Aylestone
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether the Home Secretary will secure a report from the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, under the Police Act 1964, on disturbances between councillors at council and committee meetings of the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark; and what action it is proposed should be taken in consequence.
§ Lord Elton
My right honourable friend the Home Secretary understands from the commissioner that he knows of no such disturbance at such meetings of the London borough of Lambeth. The commissioner has reported that at about 7 p.m. on 1st December this year two of his officers visited Southwark Town Hall and interviewed a councillor who alleged that about twenty minutes earlier he had been punched on the head by another councillor when he had attempted to intervene in a struggle between that councillor and a man whom that councillor had forced from a meeting. The officers entered the meeting room wishing to interview the alleged assailant. Their entry was challenged by members of the meeting, and the councillor concerned refused to leave it to speak to the officers. The officers had no authority to remain, since there was no reason to believe that a breach of the peace or criminal offence was being or was about to be committed; but they advised the councillor who had called them of his right to issue a private summons for common assault against his alleged assailant.