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theguardian

Still in the UK, and Archie Bland reports that police received dozens of reports of illegal gatherings over the weekend and began issuing the first fines after new rules in England penalising organisers of illegal raves came into force.

Two organisers at a rave in Banwen, West Glamorgan, that attracted an estimated 3,000 people were handed fixed penalty notices for £10,000 on Sunday. Officers remained at the scene in to the night along with about 1,000 people, South Wales police said.

Elsewhere, officers in the West Midlands, Essex, Norfolk and West Yorkshire dealt with reports of unlicensed music events and the flouting of lockdown restrictions at house and street parties, though most forces said they would seek to remind people of their responsibilities before imposing fines.

The restrictions, in place since Friday, were prompted by repeated incidents of illegal raves during lockdown, which the home secretary, Priti Patel, said represented “the most serious breaches of social distancing restrictions”.

Here’s Archie’s full story:

Meanwhile, Piers Corbyn, the older brother of the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, received a £10,000 fixed penalty under new coronavirus laws restricting public gatherings of more than 30 people.

The weather forecaster and climate change denier was arrested and fined for his part in organising Saturday’s demonstration in central London against lockdown restrictions.

He said he was arrested on the stage set up in Trafalgar Square at the end of the event, while protesters marched off down Whitehall.

The 73-year-old told the Guardian: “After the rally had finished, I was saying goodbye to people … I was just looking around thinking I had better go now, and then they [the police] just grabbed me from behind.




Piers Corbyn addressing a crowd in Trafalgar Square on Saturday. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

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