Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has responded to the planned pro-Palestine protest on Armistice Day.

Rishi Sunak said there is a “clear and present risk that the Cenotaph and other war memorials could be desecrated” amid reports that tens of thousands of demonstrators are planning to take to the streets to call for an immediate ceasefire in Israel’s attacks on Gaza, on Saturday November 11.

It would be “provocative and disrespectful”, the Prime Minister said.

There are fears the march could disrupt the two-minute silence commemorating the war dead and the daytime and evening Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, with the latter performance usually attended by royals.

However, leaders of the protest have explained they do not plan to be in the vicinity of the Cenotaph.

Writing on X, formerly Twitter, Mr Sunak said: “To plan protests on Armistice Day is provocative and disrespectful, and there is a clear and present risk that the Cenotaph and other war memorials could be desecrated, something that would be an affront to the British public and the values we stand for.

“The right to remember, in peace and dignity, those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for those freedoms must be protected.

“I have asked the Home Secretary (Suella Braverman) to support the Met Police in doing everything necessary to protect the sanctity of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday.”

Security minister Tom Tugendhat has written to the Mayor of London, Westminster Council and the Metropolitan Police, “asking them to look very carefully at the powers that they have and to consider what options they have available”.

“Personally I don’t think this is an appropriate moment for a protest”, Mr Tugendhat told the BBC.

The Met, which will be responsible for on-the-day policing of the demonstration, could ask the Home Secretary for temporary powers to ban protests from happening in certain areas of London, but only if it believes there is a risk of “serious public disorder”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, whose role gives him influence over policing priorities in the capital, said Mr Tugendhat should stop “posturing”.

He told the PA news agency: “If this security minister knew his brief, he would know the only person in the country that can ban marches is the Home Secretary – his colleague in cabinet.”

“We definitely will not be at the Cenotaph"

Mr Khan said it is “incredibly important” that demonstrators understand the importance of Remembrance events and the Met Police was speaking to protest organisers to “make sure they stay away from the Cenotaph”.

He added: “I’d encourage the organisers to work with the police to stay away from the Cenotaph.”

Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA) is preparing to bus protesters from Leicester to London on the Saturday and said it expects hundreds of thousands of people to take part in the demonstration, organised by a coalition of groups.

Founder Ismail Patel said: “We definitely will not be at the Cenotaph. We understand the sensitivity of the date.”