St Paul's Occupy protesters urged to remove tents

Keith Doyle says the rain has failed to move protesters off the site, as the authorities had hoped

Related Stories

Protesters will be told to remove their tents from outside St Paul's Cathedral or face legal action.

The City of London Corporation is expected to issue a letter soon warning High Court action will follow unless the camp is cleared within 48 hours.

The Occupy London Stock Exchange (OLSX) protesters said they were preparing to respond to any legal moves.

Meanwhile Home Secretary Theresa May called on the authorities to work together to move on the protesters.

She said: "What I want to see is the church authorities and the Corporation of London and the police working together to ensure that the protesters can be moved as soon as possible."

St Paul's and the City of London Corporation announced on Friday they would try to obtain separate High Court injunctions to clear the 200-tent Occupy London camp.

'Peaceful resolution'

The camp has been outside the cathedral since 15 October. People taking part are protesting against inequality and corporate greed in the City.

Fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood visited the camp on Monday night with her sons, Ben Westwood and Joseph Ferdinand Corre, her spokeswoman said.

The church partly reopened on Friday after being closed on health and safety grounds.

A spokesman for St Paul's said it was not taking joint action with the council.

It said: "The chapter have not yet sought an injunction, nor are they serving notices on the protesters today [Tuesday].

"They are committed to a peaceful resolution at all costs."

Members of the chapter are expected to meet the Bishop of London Richard Chartres later, the spokesman added.

The BBC's Religious Affairs correspondent Robert Pigott said now the bishop was "taking over" he expected the church to take a harder line.

"He [the bishop] said he didn't intend to soften the line, he intends to shift, in his own words, the attention from the camp to the economic situation and I think probably try to put a bit more moral pressure on the people outside the cathedral and to make them take more responsibility," said the correspondent.

The Right Reverend Graeme Knowles The Right Reverend Graham Knowles said his position was untenable

He said besides taking legal action and clearing the site, the church had to be seen to be taking the argument forward in a more resolute way.

Similar camps have been set up elsewhere in the UK as part of the Occupy movement that has spread from New York since September.

In Bournemouth, protesters are camped in front of the town hall while tents have been set up in Glasgow city centre's George Square and Birmingham's Victoria Square.

The row in London claimed another victim on Monday as the Dean, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, resigned.

His departure - after he said his position was "untenable" - followed those of Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Giles Fraser and part-time chaplain Fraser Dyer.

Meanwhile, City of London Corporation officials have been discussing the details of the eviction notice at a meeting in the Guildhall in the City.

Ian Chamberlain, 27, from OLSX, said: "They have to serve that notice and give us 48 hours so there is room for us to respond with legal action or whatever.

'Punishes the many'

"Our invitation for dialogue is still there. Liberty offered to facilitate a meeting to have dialogue with the Corporation of London and they haven't responded yet.

"We will stay here right until the end and explore legal options to respond to any eviction notice we do receive."

The Occupy London movement issued a statement saying it was about "social justice, real democracy and challenging the unsustainable financial system that punishes the many and privileges the few".

It added: "The management of St Paul's Cathedral is obviously deeply divided over the position they have taken in response to our cause - but our cause has never been directed at the staff of the cathedral."

On Monday night a number of OLSX protesters set up a small camp near the Tate Modern on the South Bank.

The Metropolitan Police said a small group of protesters had moved to the area at about 03:30 GMT and an appropriate number of officers were at the scene.

Are you camping outside St Paul's? Send us your stories using the form below.

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

Min. Night 17 °C

Features

  • NS Savannah, 1962Nuclear dream

    The ship that totally failed to change the world


  • Ed Miliband takes a selfie at a Cambridge hairdressersNo more photo ops?

    Why is Ed Miliband drawing attention to his public image?


  • Espresso cup7 days quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?


  • Glasgow 2014 quaichs and medalsQuaich guide

    What do the Scottish gifts given to Games medallists symbolise?


  • Malaysian plane wreckage in UkraineFlight risk

    How odd is it for three planes to crash in eight days?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.