CAMPAIGNERS took to Andover High Street today to protest against the Prime Minister's decision to suspend parliament for five weeks.

Around a dozen residents from the area gathered outside the Guildhall carrying placards reading "defend democracy" and "stop the coup".

It comes after the Queen granted Boris Johnson permission to suspend parliament earlier this week. 

The group described the decision as "profoundly unacceptable" and were moved to take to the streets as part of a nationwide protest. 

Their presence prompted debate and discussion from passersby and in some instances, scenes grew heated. 

One pedestrian hurled profanity at the group before storming off. 

Another man approached the group and said: "There was a vote, you b******s, get over it." 

Wendy Barnaby, who organised the demonstration, said the event was not affiliated to any particular group and stressed it was about the suspension of parliament, rather than the Brexit vote.

She told the Advertiser: “It’s got nothing to do with Brexit. It’s about the fact that parliament is not being given the opportunity to discuss what we should do about Brexit or about anything else if it comes to that.

“I’ve got five grandchildren and I want them to grow up in a democracy, not a dictatorship.

“Once you start proroguing parliament, once you start suspending parliament, you are on a very slippery slope.”

Wendy organised the demonstration after contacting friends and acquaintances. She said their presence showed there are "obviously people around who feel strongly about these things."

When asked about the public reaction to the demonstration, campaigners said they had a roughly even split between those supporting their message and those against it. 

Some members of the public stopped to offer words of support and stood with the group in solidarity. 

Overall, campaigners described the event a peaceful one were ideas and opinions were exchanged.

Chris Grove, among those protesting in Andover, said the group was made up of people from different political backgrounds.

He said: "There are people here who voted to leave. It’s not about Brexit. It’s a wider issue than that.

“What Boris Johnson is proposing is a coup in effect. He will silence parliament for five weeks – that is profoundly unacceptable.”

One passerby, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "I think Boris Johnson has done the right thing. It's within the constitution, he’s just supporting what we have asked for – and that’s from a man who voted to stay in.

“It’s been used before. I think [the protestors] are only objecting because of what it is being used for.”

Others rejected the Wendy's claim that the group was protesting due to the suspension of parliament, rather than Brexit. 

Nicola Holdsworth, from Andover, said: “It is really though isn’t it?

“Boris is suspending it so we can deal with [Brexit]. It’s all about Brexit.

“Defend democracy? That’s what we are doing, we are saying we want out,” she added.

The protestors moved on just after midday. One man who stuck around to hear more about their ideas concluded: “The more I find out, the more I think I don’t know.”