The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons yesterday said she feared pro-hunt protesters invading the House of Commons could have been armed.
Sylvia Heal said she was concerned for the safety of two Ministers - Alun Michael and Elliot Morley - when the demonstrators stormed into the Chamber during a debate on the fox hunting Bill.
Mrs Heal, who immediately suspended the sitting, said it was an " unprecedented" breach of security.
Giving evidence in the trial of eight protesters at Bow Street Magistrates in London, she said: "I realised this was a serious breach of security and although I could see that the young men who entered the Chamber had nothing in their hands, I could not be sure they did not have something in their pockets or around their body. Nor could I be sure that this incident was not perhaps a distraction for something else that might follow. It was a shock to see them in the Chamber."
The protesters, who included Otis Ferry, 22-yearold son of Bryan Ferry, invaded the floor of the Commons on September 15 last year after sneaking in to Westminster dressed as builders.
Up to 15,000 people had gathered outside to protest against the fox hunting Bill.
Mrs Heal, the Labour MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis, went on: "When they came in I saw the door of the lobby open and a young man, perhaps in his early 20s, running down the steps towards the Speaker's chair.
"I then saw another young man enter by another door at the end of the Chamber near the under gallery and then a third young man, who I thought had entered by doors from the members' lobby.
" Clearly, it was quite unprecedented that anyone other than Members of Parliament or the door keepers would enter by those doors.
"I saw the young man walk around in front of the Speaker's chair and stand in front of the two Ministers, Alun Michael and Elliot Morley.
"They were shouting loudly, aggressively and they stopped in front of the Ministers pointing their fingers at the two members.
"At that point the serjeant and his staff of door keepers entered the Chamber and immediately went to grapple with these young men.
"I saw them wrestling with the staff of the serjeant at arms and resisting any attempt to remove them.
"I felt no fear for my personal safety because it was apparent to me the young men had turned their attention to the Ministers on the front bench and I was fearful for their safety and that of other members."
Ferry, from Eaton Mascot, Shrewsbury; Nicholas Wood (41) a chef from Lacock, Wiltshire; John Holliday (42) a huntsman from Ledbury, Herefordshire; and Robert Thame (36) a polo player from Maidenhead, Berkshire, stormed into the chamber from behind the Speaker's chair.
Luke Tomlinson (28), a professional polo player and close friend of Princes William and Harry, made his way in via an entrance opposite the Speaker's chair.
The defendants who failed to make it into the Chamber were: horse breeder David Redvers (34) from Hartpury, Gloucestershire; Andrew Elliott (43) an auctioneer from Ledbury, Herefordshire, and Richard Wakeham (36) a surveyor from York.
They all deny a public order offence which alleges that their "disorderly" behaviour caused "harassment, alarm or distress".
In a police interview Ferry said: "I think we made it perfectly clear there was nothing threatening going on. This is a very serious issue. It is about lives and livelihoods. They simply cannot grasp the idea that these are lives they are going to ruin."
He said his anger had been particularly directed at Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael.
England polo player Tomlinson, from Tetbury, told police: "This was a peaceful protest against the Government. They mucked up the Gulf War, pensions, and now the countryside." But Danny Scanlon, a Commons doorkeeper, said one of the men had violently kicked him and that at first he thought the protest was "some sort of terrorist attack".
He said: "One was sitting in the Prime Minister's chair, shouting at the opposition spokesman. It was utter confusion, chaos and panic.
"I did not know who they were. MPs were shouting. It was bedlam."
Prosecutor Simon Clements said Ferry, a hunt master, was the "prime organiser" of the raid and had put in " substantial" planning. The court heard that once inside the Chamber he was grabbed by doorkeepers before being dragged and eventually carried out by his arms and legs.
Thame described the rush into the chamber as a "full-on charge". He told police: "By the time we got downstairs it was pretty full-on. I shot round the big table past the mace, then saw Alun Michael. I sat down and said to him 'Right then, let's have a debate now'.
"An old Conservative MP shouted 'You bloody idiots'. He was wearing a British Field Sports Society tie and I thought 'Oh, God, we haven't pleased everybody'."
The trial continues.