Police have ramped up security for tomorrow s London Marathon1 in the wake of the Westminster terror attack. The Met Police has warned runners and spectators to be stay vigilant during the race, with the force expecting millions of people to descend on the capital. The warning comes after a police officer was shot and killed in an attack in Paris2 on Thursday, just one month after Met officer Keith Palmer was stabbed to death outside Westminster in a terrorist rampage that killed five innocent people.
The Met has promised a strong and visible presence in the wake of the attacks. Millions of people are expected to take to London’s streets (Getty Images)
Commander Jane Connors said: The Marathon is a fantastic event and embodies everything that s great about London.
Our priority is to ensure that those taking part and watching have a safe and enjoyable experience and I d like to reassure people that there is a comprehensive policing plan in place to achieve this.
There will be a strong, visible presence of officers along the entire route and at transport hubs across London, but if you notice anything suspicious, then please report it to us. Officers from the Met and British Transport Police will be patrolling the streets on Sunday, with the marathon set to start at 10am.
Some 50,000 runners are expected to take part.
Race director Hugh Braster has said there will be really robust security measures and that organisers have deeply looked into safety risks at the event.
But security officials in London have warned that it would prove difficult to secure the area and will require an operation far greater than any other recent state visit. According to a report in The Times4, President Trump is adamant that he want the procession to be a part of his State visit due to take place in October despite his predecessor opting for a less traditional vehicle. Carriage: Trump wants to ride with the Queen in the Gold-plated carriage down the Mall
On his visit to the UK in 2011, former President Barack Obama chose to travel in an armoured, bullet-proof car to meet the Queen.
London s Met Police was already facing a challenge in ensuring the controversial President remains safe whilst allowing the public to demonstrate. Procession: The carriage would carry the President down the Mall
And a source has told the newspaper that this recent demand has only served to increase complexity of the arrangement. The source said: “The vehicle which carries the president of the United States is a spectacular vehicle . It is designed to withstand a massive attack like a low-level rocket grenade.
Visit: Theresa May ignored protests and a petition and invited the President on a state visit (Getty Images)
If he’s in that vehicle he is incredibly well protected and on top of that it can travel at enormous speed . If he is in a golden coach being dragged up the Mall by a couple of horses, the risk factor is dramatically increased.
“There may well be protections in that coach such as bulletproof glass, but they are limited . In particularly it is very flimsy.
“It would not be able to put up much resistance in the face of a rocket propelled grenade or high-powered ammunition . Armour-piercing rounds would make a very bad show of things.”
Police will liaise with the Secret Service to plan the operation and armed officers are expected to be dotted around in the crowds.
Thousands protested against the President s state visit when it was announced in January and 1.8 million people signed a petition calling for the invitation to be retracted. Former Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe revealed the visit was likely to cost the force millions of pounds due to the expected demonstrations. Thousands protest over Donald Trump’s state visit
Sir Bernard said the force had some concerns already about the extent of the demonstrations that might be staged.
He said that police would be mounting quite a big operation and that he would not dispute a suggestion the cost could match the 7.5 million cost of policing the G20 summit in 2009.
Few things give Washington pundits1 more pleasure than monitoring the varying fortunes of White House officials – especially when those officials are somewhat controversial. So there was no some furore when it was revealed Steve 2Bannon3, the far right adviser to Mr Trump, had been removed from his position on the National Security Council . It has now been reported the former Breibart publisher threatened to quit the administration as he fought to retain the role. The New York Times said Mr Bannon s allies denied he threatened to leave, and sought instead to portray the move as a natural evolution as the government settled in.
Susan Rice operationalised the NSC . during the last administration, Mr Bannon said in a statement, mentioning Barack Obama s national security adviser.
I was put on the NSC with General Michael Flynn to ensure that it was de-operationalised .
General McMaster has returned the NSC to its proper function. Yet within Washington, the decision to remove Mr Bannon from the NSC s principals committee – a move that was said have been orchestrated by Lt Gen HR McMaster, Mr Trump s national security advisor – was seen as possible indication that the far right former navy officer s fortunes may be waning. Steve Bannon being talked about will be his kiss of death
For the first weeks of the administration, Mr Bannon s hand appeared to be present at every decision of any importance . He encouraged Mr Trump to attack the media, and revelled in personally denouncing reporters as the opposition . He pushed Mr Trump to retain the chaotic management style that had marked the election campaign.
Yet it is possible that Mr Bannon s influence may be diminishing, as Mr Trump turns increasingly to those he believes he can trust the most – family members such as Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner. His eldest daughter has taken a position as federal employee within the White House, as has Mr Kushner, the former real estate magnate who appears to have been given responsibility for everything from relations with China to bringing peace to the Middle East . This week, there was much scorn as Mr Kushner was photographed during a visit to Iraq to meet with US and Iraqi military officials.
The newspaper said Mr Bannon s enemies, inside and outside the White House, celebrated what they saw as a defeat for a man who has been seen as the power behind the presidency.
He didn t belong on the principals committee to begin with – doesn t really belong in the White House at all, said Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff of California .
I hope that this is a sign that McMaster is taking control of the National Security Council.
Others speculated that Mr Trump may have acted partly out of annoyance over reports that suggested that Mr Bannon, and not he, was the person actually running the country.