It is feared that other protesters could deploy similar defences, prompting widespread criticism, including in an exclusive article for The Telegraph by Lord Sumption, the former Supreme Court judge, who warned that the verdict “undermined the rule of law”.
However, Ms Thornberry criticised Ms Braverman for her intervention, saying that she had “a duty to uphold democracy, the rule of law and sanctity of the jury system, not play political games when she doesn’t like results”.
She then sniped at Ms Braverman’s previous backing for Dominic Cummings leaving his London home during the spring 2020 lockdown to head north to “protect his family”, saying: “I hoped Suella Braverman had learned a lesson after her shameful intervention on Barnard Castle, but clearly not.”
Ms Thornberry has a reputation for controversial interventions ever since she tweeted the photo of a house adorned with three flags of St George, which provoked accusations of snobbery and claims that Labour had been “hijacked by the north London liberal elite”.
A senior Tory source hit back, saying: “It’s sad, but perhaps unsurprising to see Labour taking the side of hooligans just because their cause is a fashionable one at north London dinner parties.
“The Attorney General is considering whether to ask the courts to clarify the law because a number of novel defences were used which raise questions as to how laws are implemented. If these defences are wrong in law, then it is important that they do not contaminate future trials.
“Despite Thornberry’s hysterical ramblings, the Government would not be undermining democracy or the rule of law by doing this.”