Police have removed an anti-war protest camp that has been on parts of Parliament Square in various forms for the past 10 years.

The three-hour eviction operation was based on the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act that gives police power to remove "all tents and sleeping equipment" from the square.

Two people were arrested at the protest site opposite the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.

Metropolitan Police said that up to 10 tents were removed and between 10 to 12 people moved on.

Westminster Council leader Colin Barrow supported the police action.

"For too long local people and tourists have been unable to fully enjoy the square," he said. "This is a tragedy and the sooner this historic site can be enjoyed by the public the better."

Campaigners set up the "Democracy Village" in May 2010 to protest against a variety of issues including the war in Afghanistan.

Veteran anti-war campaigner Brian Haw, who died of cancer in June, established a camp on the square in 2001 until the mayor of London won a hard-fought battle to have him removed in March. Supporters camped with him simply moved their tents on to the pavement around the green.

Protesters connected with the Occupy London movement, who set up a similar camp outside St Paul's Cathedral in October, have been watching the evictions carefully.

A tweet from Occupy London's official twitter account at the time of the police raid read: "Parliament Square protest being cleared currently by police. Get down & show solidarity."