Protesters call for UK general election as inflation bites

One demonstrator said people would 'keep shouting' until the government listened.

Protesters at the 'Britain Is Broken' rally want a new government. Bloomberg
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Thousands of people joined a demonstration demanding for a general election as the country is battered by rampant inflation.

A coalition of trade unions and community organisations took part in the “Britain is Broken” protest in central London, which was organised by the People's Assembly.

The peaceful, but small protest, comes with the government having its third prime minister in as many months and the rising cost of living, that includes a number of pay-related strikes and rising mortgage rates, dominating the political agenda.

Protester Adam Robinson, 51, from Maidstone, Kent, said people would “keep shouting” until the government listened.

“I'm really starting to feel the pinch, as I know a lot of people are,” he said.

“The current government is an absolute shambles, it is not fit for purpose, it is damaging our country, and I think it's important that we stand together to make our voices heard and to say that we're not going to put up with this stuff any more.”

The peaceful comes with the government having its third prime minister in as many months. EPA

“We keep shouting until they have to listen. The trouble is, historically, that when it comes to a point like this when the people really have had enough, the protests start and the protests build and then something big happens.”

Protester Michelle Uden brought her seven-year-old twin boys to the demonstration and said she wanted a change in leadership after struggling with the cost of living.

“Enough is enough. If we don't stand up and fight we'll sit down and cry,” she said. “We want to get rid of Rishi Sunak, we want more funding for the NHS, we want that to stop being privatised.”

Ms Uden added she did not believe a general election would be called, but wanted her children to see “democracy in action”.

Demonstrator and retired nurse Claire Dawson, 66, from north London, said she was “absolutely sick” of the government, and she hoped the protest would show voters that “there is opposition”.

Demonstrators marched in the rain from Embankment to Trafalgar Square, where a rally was held with speakers including Mick Lynch, the general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT).

The RMT has cancelled the latest round of strikes as talks resume with management.

“Our dispute is paused, the action is paused to allow for talks — but this dispute is not over. We are pressing on for a fair deal for our members, on pay, conditions and job cuts,” he said.

“If we don't get a deal from Network Rail and the train operators, we will strike and strike again until we bring them to the table and get a deal.”

Updated: November 05, 2022, 8:52 PM