§ Mr. Hattersley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when the organisers of the 31 March poll tax demonstration asked permission to hold that demonstration in Hyde park; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
[holding answer 5 April 1990]: The organisers applied on 18 January for permission to hold the rally in Trafalgar square. After discussions with the Metropolitan police permission was granted on 7 March. The details of the route of the proposed march from the assembly point in Kennington park to Trafalgar square were discussed and agreed with the police. On Monday 26 March the organisers asked my Department for permission to hold the rally in Hyde park. The Metropolitan police were contacted about this very late request but no formal decision was taken. At a meeting later that day between the police and the organisers the request was not pursued and plans for holding the rally in Trafalgar square were finalised. On Tuesday 27 March the organisers withdrew their request to hold the rally in Hyde park.