A total of 41 people were arrested and 22 officers were injured in London as thousands of anti-racism protestors attended rallies in the capital, with small skirmishes erupting between police and protestors.

Demonstrators flooded the streets around the US embassy in central London before marching on Westminster, protesting against racial injustice and police brutality in the wake of the murder of unarmed black man George Floyd whilst in US police custody.

Black Lives Matter rallies were carried out across the UK over the weekend, with protests in the capital passing largely peacefully.

But a small minority "provoked scenes of violence," the Met has said, with a number of clashes with police near Whitehall and bottles thrown at officers by protestors.

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Dame Cressida Dick, Met Police Commissioner, said the attacks were "shocking and completely unacceptable", whilst the Prime Minister said the protests had been "subverted by thuggery."

Protests under the Black Lives Matter movement have spread across the globe following the death of Mr Floyd, who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes in Minneapolis.

Demonstrations have now been held across the UK, with peaceful protests held outside Westminster and in Hyde Park, but over the weekend heated skirmishes erupted on both nights.

Scotland Yard said 12 people were arrested and eight officers injured as bottles and other objects were pelted at police in central London on Sunday, June 7.

This follows 29 arrests on Saturday, with 14 officers injured during clashes between protestors and police.

A dispersal order was enforced in Westminster until 6am on Monday morning as riot police battled into the night to move a group of about 50 violent protesters on.

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Meanwhile, a lone activist was pictured scaling The Cenotaph, the national memorial to the fallen in the First World War. and attempting to set the Union Jack flag alight.

The Winston Churchill memorial in Parliament Square was also defaced and daubed with “was a racist” graffiti.

The Met said the majority of the arrests were for public order offences and one was for criminal damage following the incident at the Cenotaph.

Spokesperson for the protests, Superintendent Jo Edwards, said: “Regrettably officers were faced with further scenes of violence and disorder following a day of predominantly peaceful protest throughout the capital.

“This is a hugely impassioned movement and we understand the public’s desire to have their voices heard – however it is not right that this passion has turned into violent attacks on officers.

Rapper Stormzy attended the rally in the capital, and London Black Lives Matter also organised an online protest via Zoom for those unable to attend the demonstrations, which attracted more than 10,000 people.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has branded the incident "utterly disgraceful", while crime, policing and justice minister Kit Malthouse called on Monday for those responsible to be prosecuted.

"A crime was committed, criminal damage was committed, there should be evidence gathered and a prosecution should follow," he told BBC Breakfast.

On Sunday evening, Boris Johnson tweeted: "People have a right to protest peacefully & while observing social distancing but they have no right to attack the police.

"These demonstrations have been subverted by thuggery - and they are a betrayal of the cause they purport to serve.

"Those responsible will be held to account."

In Bristol, protesters toppled the bronze memorial to slave trader Edward Colston and dumped it into the harbour.