Protests held across Sussex against suspension of Parliament

Protests have been held across Sussex against the suspension of Parliament.

Defend Democracy held a peaceful protest in Brighton from 12pm today, which saw protesters marching from The Level along the seafront to the peace statue at Hove Lawns.

According to Sussex Police, which facilitated the protest, around 800 people turned out for the demonstration, which featured speakers from across Brighton and Hove including Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion.

Meanwhile, similar protests were held elsewhere in the county, including Chichester and Lewes.

In Lewes, members of the Sussex for Europe campaign group were among those protesting at Cliffe Bridge from 11am to 1pm, organised by EUnity Lewes.

And in Chichester hundreds of campaigners gathered at The Cross in the city centre.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament early has sparked protests across Sussex. Picture: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament early has sparked protests across Sussex. Picture: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images

#stopthecoup began trending on Twitter as people took to social media to air their views. Hugh Fiske described the Chichester event as a 'good sized, good-natured and cross-party protest', while Nikki Tees made her own placard which expressed her views in a heated tone.

On Wednesday, at least 100 people gathered outside Worthing Town Hall to demonstrate against the controversial plans.

The protests were sparked by prime minister Boris Johnson's plans to prorogue Parliament until October, which critics believed meant that opponents of a no-deal Brexit would have less time to pass laws to stop it being a possibility.

But supporters claimed the period Parliament would be suspended was only a few days longer than it would have been suspended for anyway.

Mr Johnson's plans were approved by the Queen on Wednesday.

Defend Democracy was set up in the wake of this news by poet Michael Parker and computer programmer Chris Hodges.

Speaking ahead of the protest, Mr Parker said: “When I heard that Johnson was shutting down democratic scrutiny I knew that we had to protest.

“It seemed like many people were thinking the same thing.

"I set a time and a place and within a couple of hours we had a few hundred people, a local MP and experienced speakers.

The aim of the rally was to send a message to local MPs who supported the suspension of parliament, and to Mr Johnson himself.

Mr Hodges said: "Maria Caulfield and Amber Rudd are local members of parliament who have both been vocal in their support of Boris Johnson.

"They need to know that their seats are at risk if the continue to follow him down this undemocratic path."