Nicholas Watt: Man Charged After BBC Journalist Abused And Prosecuted By Anti-Lockdown Protesters

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Nicholas Watt: Man Charged After BBC Journalist Abused And Prosecuted By Anti-Lockdown Protesters


A man has been charged after a BBC reporter was confronted and pursued by anti-lockdown protesters near Downing Street.

Martin Hockridge, 57, is accused of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior towards another person with the intention of causing them harassment, alarm or distress.

The 57-year-old, from Harpenden in Hertfordshire, is charged under Section 4A of the Public Order Act.

He is due to appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on June 29.

Images were circulated widely on social media Tuesday showing Nicholas Watt, the political editor of Newsnight, being shouted insults by protesters.

Mr Watt, who was wearing a BBC lanyard, walked through the crowd past a line of police officers as cries of ‘traitor’ and other insults were heard.

The incident came as protesters gathered in London to voice their opposition to the government delaying for four weeks the next step in its roadmap to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

The Metropolitan Police have opened an investigation after examining the footage and identifying a number of possible offenses.

The force came under criticism after initially saying officers “were not in the immediate vicinity of the incident,” despite widely shared footage showing officers at the scene.

In a subsequent statement, the Met said it would “review our actions to improve monitoring of events.”

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