A highly respected BBC journalist was aggressively harassed by an angry bunch of thugs outside Downing Street whilst the Met Police stood by watched.
Newsnight’s Political Editor, Nicholas Watt had foul language shouted at him outside Downing Street whilst dozens of coppers stood by and deliberately allowed the illegal acts to unfold.
Watt was running towards the police whilst an angry foul mouthed bunch of thugs shouted at him calling him a “traitor” shouting foul-mouthed slurs at him in front of police.
This has provoked a mass of criticism and Watt has been met with much solidarity as he desperately sought help and tried to leave the area.
The Metropolitan Police have been questioned as to why they stood there and quite clearly allowed this to happen to a journalist. Under Section 5 of the PACE Act it is illegal to use foul language in public, to which you can be arrested.
Matthew Garrahan, news Editor for the Financial Times’ tweeted, “Serious questions for the police here who stood by and did nothing while a mob of nutters intimidated and shoved a journalist.”
There was no social distancing and no wearing of face masks and he was being touched and shouted at by a group delinquents, in front of the police.
Jo Stevens MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said, “This extremely disturbing footage showing clear intimidation of a journalist while carrying out his job is absolutely unacceptable and should be condemned in the strongest terms.
“It is shocking that a BBC lanyard makes someone a target like this.”
The prominent journalist Jess Brammar said, “This is what stoking up hatred (not criticism, that’s completely different) against journalists and the BBC looks like.
“You know who you are if you’ve played that game. I hope you have the decency to feel a bit of shame about it.”
The BBC said in a statement, “This behaviour is completely unacceptable.
“All journalists should be able to carry out their work without intimidation or impediment.”
The organisation’s specialist disinformation reporter Marianna Spring added, “Protesters opposing restrictions – many inspired by online conspiracies about the pandemic and vaccines – harassing the brilliant Nick Watt.
“Horrible scenes – and evidence of how online threats are spilling offline.”