Met Police axe TV lawyer who led ‘from river to the sea’ chant

Attiq Malik (Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)
Attiq Malik (Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)

The Metropolitan Police has suspended its relationship with an activist who was filmed leading chants of “From the river to the sea” at a pro-Palestinian rally over the Israel-Hamas war.

Solicitor Attiq Malik was an adviser present in the force’s Lambeth operations room monitoring protests in central London last month.

Scotland Yard said his views “appear anti-Semitic and contrary with our values”.

The Sunday Telegraph uncovered a video of Malik, chair of the London Muslim Communities Forum, instigating chants of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” while addressing a Luton demo in May 2021.

The slogan has been described by Downing Street as “deeply offensive“ to many, particularly the Jewish community.

A senior Tory expressed disbelief at Malik’s role, saying it raised “serious questions”.

They said: “Does the Met really want to be seen to be associated with people who are chanting what are demonstrably anti-Semitic slogans?”

Malik is a criminal defence solicitor based in Luton, who has attended previous pro-Palestinian protests as a legal observer and uploaded videos to social media advising thousands of followers of their rights in recent weeks.

He appeared on Channel 4’s 24 Hours in Police Custody documentary representing clients and as an expert on Good Morning Britain.

Scotland Yard said: “The video shared by the Telegraph today has brought to our attention that the chair of the London Muslim Communities Forum has expressed views in a way which does not align to the Met’s values.

“We regularly engage with a whole range of community groups, many of which hold strongly opposing views. It is important that we continue to listen to opposing views. This is how we put community voices at the heart of policing London.

“This instance has highlighted past language and views expressed by Attiq Malik that appear anti-Semitic and contrary with our values. As a result we will be immediately ceasing our relationship with Mr Malik whilst we investigate.

“We will continue to engage with the LMCF and the full range of faith and community advisers. The insights, feedback and reach into communities across London continues to play an important role in our response.

“We are already working on a new advisory group ‘charter’ that will include a shared commitment to engage through mutual respect and inclusivity."

The Standard approached Malik for comment.