Cameron lashes out at 'comatose' St Paul's protesters

The camp at St Paul's has divided observers
The camp at St Paul's has divded observers.

By Ian Dunt 

David Cameron lashed out at the protesters camped outside St Paul's Cathedral today, branding them "comatose".

In his first comments on the protest, which is expected to last at least until Christmas, Mr Cameron insisted that people should not erect tents in the middle of the city.

"Protest is something you should do on two feet rather than lying down... in some cases in a rather comatose state," he told the Commons' liaison committee this afternoon.

"The idea of establishing tents in the middle of a city I don't feel is particularly constructive, whether it's in Parliament Square or St Paul's.

The prime minister had been asked whether he considered the demonstrators an example of the 'big society', but he insisted that "protest is a separate issue".

Mr Cameron had previously said that the Archbishop of Canterbury had "spoken for the whole country" in an article expressing discomfort with the levels of inequality in Britain.

The article expressed considerable sympathy with the demonstrators, leading some to conclude that the prime minister did not want to attack the camp, which has received a hostile reaction from most Conservatives.

Labour leader Ed Miliband recently issued a balanced statement on the protest, maintaining a critical view of its tactics, but defending its concerns.


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