Conservative MP and Chairman of the Special Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood, who desperately prodicated first aid to the dying policeman, tweeted asking for help identifying the man, calling the image “abhorrent.”
The commemorative plaque was unveiled in February last year in front of the Palace of Westminster in lasting tribute to Palmer after he was killed defending Parliament from attack. Palmer was also posthumously awarded the George Medal for Bravery.
At the time of the memorial’s erection, then-President John Bercow said: “PC Keith Palmer was nothing less than a hero in the way he ran to danger to ensure the safety of all of us on March 22, 2017. He paid the ultimate price for doing the work he loved—and we owe him a deep debt of gratitude for his bravery.
Quoting Ellwood’s tweet, Labor MP and Shadow Home Secretary Jess Phillips wrote on Twitter: “The man saying he was a real soldier for our nation who ran to danger to try to save Keith Palmer who also served to protect our country. The man in the picture claims to take care of our country, but he’s just pissing on all of us.
The violent demonstration drew strong criticism after football hooligans, veterans and far-right extremists, who claimed to have travelled to central London to “defend” the Churchill statue in parliament square and the cenotaph of a cancelled Black Lives Matter march, turned against police stationed to protect the monuments, beating them with bottles, canisters and smoke bombs.
A press photographer is suspected of having suffered a broken nose amid right-wing violence and some journalists present, including the BBC’s Dominic Casciani, said media staff were under threat.
Throughout the afternoon, there were reports of chants of “Eng-er-land”, excessive alcohol consumption and the apparent Nazi salutes by some present.