Police have faced off with a “breakaway” group of demonstrators setting off flares in central London as tens of thousands took part in the latest pro-Palestine rally seen in the capital in recent weeks.

Meanwhile hundreds gathered outside the Egyptian embassy in central London this afternoon for a rally organised by a radical group banned in many countries – with one speaker calling for “Muslim armies to unite” to “free Palestine”.

Posting on X, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “A breakaway group began to march up Whitehall. They were setting off flares which on previous weekends have been used against officers.

“They’ve been detained to be searched under Section 60 of the Public Order Act.

“In addition, conditions under Section 12 of the Public Order Act have now been imposed preventing any further march, that we know will cause disruption.”

A clip showed large numbers of police vehicles in the West End, and officers moving into position at either end of Whitehall.

The group mainly dispersed without further incident, however six people were arrested for refusing directions to disperse and thereby breaching the dispersal order in place.

One man was arrested near Trafalgar Square for possession of an offensive weapon, specifically a knife.

The Met subsequently posted: “Thanks to the hard work of our Public Order officers, the group that were given new conditions have dispersed quickly.

“There are no longer any groups on Whitehall or Trafalgar Square.”

In response, members of the public voiced their concerns about the ongoing situation, with one saying: “Hate marches every weekend. London a no-go area.”

More than 1,500 officers, including hundreds from other UK police forces, were deployed to ensure the safety of protesters and the wider public.

As of 7pm, there were a total of 18 arrests for a variety of offences, including one man arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred after officers spotted him carrying a placard with swastikas on.

Images were shared on social media showing literature being distributed which featured a swastika inside a Star of David.

Officers later spotted the same literature at a stall in Whitehall and arrested four people on suspicion of distributing material likely to stir up racial hatred.

Another man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker after an officer was struck in the chest. The officer was not injured during the incident.

Officers also dealt with an incident in a pub on Whitehall next to the cordon and a man was arrested on suspicion of common assault. It is not known yet if he was connected to the protest.

Separately, in a clip shared on social media, one man standing at a microphone outside the embassy, in Belgravia, leads others in a chant of “Muslim armies isn’t it time? Free, free Palestine.”

Also commenting on X, Richard Tice, leader of Reform UK: “Why do Tories still allow this radical extremist group to spread its hate & calls for Sharia Law & armed insurrection in UK?

“This group is banned in many nations.”

Hizb-ut-Tahrir is an Islamic fundamentalist organisation which calls for the re-establishment of an Islamic Caliphate to unite the Muslim community.

It is currently banned in Bangladesh, China, Germany, Russia, Turkey, Indonesia and all Arab countries apart from Lebanon, Yemen and the UAE.