A seven-day protest by squatters who set up camp on the driveway of an MP’s constituency office was ended by bailiffs this morning.
Around a dozen members of the Occupy movement erected tents and beds outside the Finchley Conservative office in Ballards Lane after claiming they were given permission to squat the forecourt during a demonstration last Friday.
But private bailiffs were called in at 6am this morning and removed half a dozen squatters and possessions including two sofa beds, armchairs, tents and a gazebo.
Several members of the group had previously occupied The Bohemia pub in North Finchley and squatted the Friern Barnet Library.
No court order was required as the group were on open land, rather than occupying a building.
The makeshift camp started seven days ago during a protest at Mr Freer’s support for anti-squatting laws.
The Tory representative for Finchley and Golders Green last week compared the occupation of empty buildings to stealing.
During the small demonstration, the group were invited to protest on the forecourt to prevent them blocking the pavement.
The squatters took this as legal permission to be on the land and friends at top city law firm Bindmans, representing the group for free, quickly wrote to Barnet Police and Mike Freer’s office warning them not to interfere with their clients’ right to protest.
Mr Freer’s staff have spent the last week seeking legal advice on how best to remove the group.
Having formally revoked the group’s ‘permission’ to be on the land this morning, bailiffs arrived to move them on and shift a large number of items that had been placed on the drive.
A Conservative source said: “It all went off pretty peacefully. There was a lot of stuff on the drive that they didn’t even want – it seems they were just trying to make it awkward for us to remove them.”