People across Basingstoke have reacted with anger and confusion to a protest at War Memorial Park this afternoon calling for lockdown restrictions to be lifted.

Earlier today, groups of people were seen at the park, signs in hand, calling for live-saving restrictions to be done away with.

One of the female protesters, who wishes to remain anonymous told the Gazette: “We want to save our rights.

"We believe the number of people dead from Covid is exemplified.

"The number dying from Covid is not correct.

"Extra numbers are being added into Covid. We don’t want to be unlawfully rejected or kept inside.

"Every Monday at 2pm we will be back at War Memorial Park to protest. There were ten of us there today. This is our second week."

Talking to the Gazette in response to this, Councillor Michael Westbrook - whose Brookvale and Kings Furlong ward is on the border of War Memorial Park, was surprised to hear of the protest.

"I think the lockdown restrictions are in place for a reason," he said.

"I’m surprised to be honest, but I also understand the frustration.

"I’ve been indoors for eight weeks because it's the right thing to do. 

"It's surprising because I genuinely think people have been good, including young people.

"I’d be interested to know why they feel they haven’t got their rights. This is a global pandemic. People don't go through the furlough process just for the fun of it.

"You aren’t being forced to stay inside all day and most people are being sensible so this is a pretty frustrating thing."

The protesters were moved on from the park and were later seen in Festival Place, but no arrests have been made at this stage.

The councillor wasn't the only one angry with the protest.

An NHS worker who wishes to remain anonymous has blasted the protesters as "out of order".

He said: "Why aren't these people being arrested? It’s out of order for people who have lost someone and NHS workers like me who leave their kids and families to work.

"This is outrageous to me and my colleagues."