The violence and “thuggish behaviour” at London’s anti-cuts protests on Saturday has been “utterly condemned” by Home Secretary Theresa May.

“We will always back the police when they do their important work and we will back them as they do their job to bring these mindless thugs to justice,” Mrs May said.

A total of 201 arrests were made on the day including 145 arrests in connection with a sit-in by campaign group UK Uncut at luxury store Fortnum & Mason, and another 11 people has so far been charged for various offences, including violent disorder, assault on police,and criminal damage.

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She also said that she had asked the police if they needed further powers at future protests to prevent violence before it occurs.

“I am willing to consider powers which would ban known hooligans from attending rallies and marches, and I will look into the powers the police already have to force the removal of face coverings and balaclavas,” May explained.

“If the police need more help to do their work I will not hesitate in granting it to them.”

She also said that she did not agree with the the violence displayed by some protesters on Saturday.

“In a democracy, this kind of violence is no form of political protest,” she said.

“It is violent assault and criminal damage, it is thuggish behaviour of the worst kind and it must face the full force of the law.”