Watch: Met Police special constable tells gospel singer she can’t sing religious songs

The volunteer officer speaks to Harmonie London on Oxford Street
The volunteer officer speaks to Harmonie London on Oxford Street

A volunteer police officer told a Christian singer that she was forbidden from singing gospel songs “outside of church grounds” before sticking her tongue out at her.

Harmonie London, a gospel singer who has almost 300,000 Instagram followers and more than 320,000 YouTube subscribers, regularly performs worship music on Oxford Street in central London.

In a video posted to her Instagram page on Sunday, Ms London filmed an apparent altercation between herself and a Metropolitan Police special constable – a volunteer role.

In the clip, the female officer tells her: “No, miss, you’re not allowed to sing church songs outside of church grounds, by the way.”

Ms London responds: “You are, you are, you are,” but the officer insists that she cannot sing “outside of church grounds unless you have been authorised by the Church to do these kind of songs”.

Ms London replies: “That’s a load of rubbish, you’re allowed.” The officer then walks away, while another adds: “She’s not saying anything any more, thank you for your time.”

The singer continues: “Are you saying that you don’t care about the Human Rights Act?” She then accuses the officer of “laughing” – and the officer sticks her tongue out at her camera as she films.

Ms London titled the footage: “Unpaid volunteer officer doesn’t like gospel songs”, adding the caption: “Special constables are volunteer police officers who invest their free time to make a real difference to our city. You will get a tremendous amount of pride from giving back to the community.”

Andrea Williams, the chief executive of Christian Concern, said: “One of my favourite things as I commute to work is to hear Harmonie’s beautiful worship.

“She blesses tens of thousands of people in the same way and brings harmony to the streets. We need more of this, not less. It is shocking that she has been treated like this.”

Asked on GB News whether the incident raised questions about the culture and ideology of British policing, Ann Widdecombe, a former minister and MEP, said: “Well, it certainly will if she is not struck off from the voluntary forces tomorrow morning.

“I mean, she really has got the law completely wrong and she was obviously enjoying herself rather too much, trying to boss this woman around, and there is no basis at all for saying that you can’t sing. I could walk down the street singing Onward Christian Soldiers and I would be committing no offence at all.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “We’re working to understand the context in which these comments were made. We will update as soon as we can.”

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our US-exclusive offer.