POLICE Scotland have invoked powers under the Public Order Act to halt a planned march set up by Irish Republican group Cairde na hÉireann.

The march was set to take place on Saturday morning in Glasgow, and was intended to pay tribute to members of the International Brigades who fought against fascism and in defence of democracy in Spain.

Police Scotland announced their decision in a statement on their website and shared to Twitter, where they were met with a range of reaction.

In the statement, Chief Superintendent Mark Sutherland, Divisional Commander for Greater Glasgow Division, said that he authorised officers to invoke the Public Order on the grounds of “public safety” and to “minimise disruption to the local community”.

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Sutherland continued: "Police Scotland’s priority is always public safety and this decision was taken as a last resort after careful consideration of the potential impact of a planned counter-protest.

"Decisions about how to police protests require consideration of complex and often competing rights and issues.

"The guiding principles of policing protests are the safety of protestors, the public and police officers involved, preventing criminal behaviour or disorder and deescalating tensions."

One person tweeted that the decision was “draconian”, accusing Police Scotland of “openly using the state-enforced mourning period to suppress political dissent”.

This comes amidst concerns raised on Saturday over petitions on the Parliament’s website no longer being able to be signed due to the death of the Queen.

Cairde na hÉireann have been contacted for comment.