Thousands of people joined Black Lives Matter protests in London demanding racial justice on Saturday (June 6) mirroring similar demonstrations around the world.

The Met Police said that 14 people had been arrested and 10 officers injured in the wake of the largest demonstration in Westminster, which otherwise passed peacefully "and without incident" according to a police spokesperson.

At Parliament square, thousands of protesters took a knee for eight minutes in memory of George Floyd, the African American man who died at the hands of police in Minnesota after they knelt on his neck during an arrest.

They heard speeches demanding racial justice in the UK and around the world, and held aloft placards bearing slogans including "Silence Is Violence" and "The UK Is Not Innocent".

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Protesters in Whitehall following a Black Lives Matter protest rally in Parliament Square, London, in memory of George Floyd who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis. Image: Yui Mok/PA WireProtesters in Whitehall following a Black Lives Matter protest rally in Parliament Square, London, in memory of George Floyd who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis. Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Floyd's death sparked the latest wave of Black Lives Matter protests in the US that have since been joined by solidarity marches around the world.

In London, peaceful demonstrations in other London boroughs including Wandsworth and Kingston also took place demanding racial justice and an end to police brutality.

Scenes of a number of demonstrators who marched to Whitehall from Parliament Square scuffling with police including mounted officers were seen Saturday evening.

"At around 19:00hrs this evening in Whitehall, whilst the vast majority of demonstrators had left central London, the mood of the remaining crowd changed.

"They became angry and intent on violence, and began throwing missiles and flares at officers who were deployed outside Downing Street," the Met said.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Protesters and police clash at Whitehall following a Black Lives Matter protest rally in Parliament Square, London, in memory of George Floyd who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis. Image: Yui Mok/PA WireProtesters and police clash at Whitehall following a Black Lives Matter protest rally in Parliament Square, London, in memory of George Floyd who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis. Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire

At least one protester and one officer were injured in the scuffles when a police horse bolted.

The officer from the Met's 'Mounted Branch' is "currently receiving hospital treatment, but her injuries are not life-threatening," the Met said.

"The horse made its own way back to the nearby stables."

Commissioner of the Met Police, Cressida Dick, commented on the demonstrations in Central London this morning (Sunday, June 7):

"I am deeply saddened and depressed that a minority of protesters became violent towards officers in central London yesterday evening...The number of assaults is shocking and completely unacceptable.

“I know many who were seeking to make their voices heard will be as appalled as I am by those scenes. There is no place for violence in our city," she said.

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Mounted police and protesters in Whitehall following a Black Lives Matter protest rally in Parliament Square, London, in memory of George Floyd who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis. Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire Mounted police and protesters in Whitehall following a Black Lives Matter protest rally in Parliament Square, London, in memory of George Floyd who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis. Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Health Secretary Matt Hancock criticized the demonstrations in an interview. 

He told Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday he supported the protesters' arguments, but urged: "Please don't gather in groups of more than six people because there is also a pandemic that we must address and control." 

Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy meanwhile urged caution at the protests, insisting that their message must be heard nonetheless. 

"I'm someone who has lived with racism in my life, I've seen it with my family, I've seen it in our country and I think it requires you to take an active stance against it.

"You cannot be silent in the face of racism and police brutality, and I think those young people are right to raise their voices and to demand change."