A man has been arrested and bailed in connection with possible public order offences relating to an incident involving Conservative MP Anna Soubry on Monday, January 7.
James Goddard was detained outside St James’s Park underground station on suspicion of a public order offence at 11.42am on Saturday (January 12). Some of his colleagues said he had been on his way to hand himself in at Holborn police station, but it is entirely possible he may have been trying to reach a People’s Assembly rally.
Owen Jones, who was also subjected to verbal abuse on the same day as Ms Soubry, gave a speech at that event and was met on the way out by more so-called “yellow vest” demonstrators. He documented their behaviour in a video clip that he posted on Twitter.
So, after speaking at today's @pplsassembly rally, I was mobbed by fascists trying to swing punches and who spat down my neck (I know right, yuck, fascist spit!) Thanks to the comrades who kept them at bay. Again, not intimidated by these fash, we are going to defeat you 💪🏻 pic.twitter.com/C0MxdlIRZp
— Owen Jones 🌹 (@OwenJones84) January 12, 2019
We have already seen video evidence of some of Mr Goddard’s behaviour:
Britain has become so normalised to extreme-right rhetoric that Brextremists like this can scream threats and threaten war and nothing is done about it.pic.twitter.com/9gelu2Cv7m
— Another Angry Voice (@Angry_Voice) January 7, 2019
Police have been investigating possible offences after Ms Soubry was called a “Nazi” while giving a TV interview on College Green, outside Westminster. After questions were asked in Parliament, dozens of MPs wrote to Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick, requesting urgent action.
Mr Goddard was released on bail and, it seems, immediately went to a London pub where he told a reporter from the Metro he had been ordered to leave the area within the circumference of the M25 within two hours or be re-arrested; live at home and sign in at his local police station every Monday and Friday; and that he must not enter Anna Soubry’s constituency or attend any of her workplaces or press events.
According to the Metro report, mention of the MP’s name prompted an eruption of “chants of ‘Anna Soubry is a Nazi’”.
The removal of this man from London, at least for the time being, is to be welcomed.
But it is clear from the treatment of Mr Jones that his fellow “fascists” intend to carry on abusing anyone they don’t like. In fact, it seems they are becoming more aggressive.
They don’t have an argument worth mentioning so it seems they are happy to resort to abhorrent physical displays including attempted or feigned violence (to provoke a reaction?) and spitting on their victims.
There’s no reason anybody should put up with that. The police response has been mild so far, but I would certainly expect the Met to step up its efforts if this harassment continues.