THE chief executive of leading anti-monarchy group Republic has said that the arrest of protesters at the coronation was “premeditated”.

The Metropolitan Police have been heavily criticised over the detentions, with some campaign groups likening it to “something you would expect to see in Moscow”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4, Smith said Republic had several conversations with the Met Police prior to the protests and that they were “well aware” of the plans and had given assurances that they would not be disrupted.

He continued: “So they have repeatedly lied about their intentions and I believe that they had every intention of arresting us prior to doing so.”

READ MORE: Stephen Flynn: Labour and LibDem voters must vote SNP to unseat Tories

Asked if he felt the arrests were premeditated, Smith said: “Yes.”

Smith added that there was nothing done that justified being detained or arrested.

He then clashed with the BBC presenter who asked that people wishing to enjoy the celebrations had a “right to enjoy the day” and that this would have been “severely curtailed particularly by noisy protest”.

Smith, branding the suggestion a “disgrace” replied: “No absolutely not. That is not a right in human rights law and this is quarter of a billion pound vanity parade to promote an institution of state.

“That is not an excuse to rob people of their rights. It is not an excuse to arrest people and detain them for 16 hours because some people want to enjoy a party. That is a disgraceful suggestion and quite frankly this is a political issue and therefore obviously it’s going to face protest.

“If some people don’t like the fact there are protesters there then quite frankly they have to put up with it.”

Met Police Federation response

Ken Marsh, the chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, also appeared on the show and said he would not be “entering a debate with someone under the judicial system as we speak”.

Asked about the claim that action was premeditated, Marsh said: “As the police of this country, we police without fear or favour as you well know and we had to take into consideration everything that at that moment is put in front of us.

“And if individuals intend to cause an incident which will affect others near them, around them or part of their actions then we take action to deal with it.”

He added that he would not discuss individual arrests but that somebody would only be arrested if the officer “had the powers to do so”.

READ MORE: It was great to feel Yes movement’s raw energy at AUOB march

Marsh continued to say the transparency in the UK is “greater than any other in the world in terms of being able to investigate what took place after”.

He said his colleagues were “lawful in what they were doing” and that the situations they faced forced them to take action.

Commander Karen Findlay of the Met Police said the force’s “first priority” was to “ensure that the tens of thousands who travelled into London, and millions more around the world, were able to enjoy a safe, secure and dignified coronation”.

She confirmed 64 arrests were made and added: “We absolutely understand public concerns following the arrests we made this morning.

“Protest is lawful and it can be disruptive. We have policed numerous protests without intervention in the build-up to the coronation, and during it.

“Our duty is to do so in a proportionate manner in line with relevant legislation. We also have a duty to intervene when protest becomes criminal and may cause serious disruption.

“This depends on the context. The coronation is a once in a generation event and that is a key consideration in our assessment.

“A protest involving large numbers has gone ahead today with police knowledge and no intervention.”