A Liberal Democracy photo op was thrown into disarray yesterday evening by protesters making claims against what they alleged was a ‘paedophile ring’ in parliament.
The Lib Dems had organised the photo opportunity in Victoria Tower Gardens, right next to Parliament, to herald a rise in the income tax threshold. As a result the event featured various senior members of the party including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.
But it ended up being overshadowed when a man and a woman came over, shouting at the Lib Dem Leader: “I told you about this four years ago!”. Clegg became flustered, and told the protester that he “was here to talk about income tax.” As a result, few pictures were taken, and Clegg was whisked away by aides.
One source in attendance said that the man demanded the Deputy Prime Minister maintain eye contact with him. He told me: “We all turned up with the big banner…. just as Nick arrived, a man and a woman came over and started shouting in Nick’s face about institutional paedophile rings”.
The male protester was identified as Bill Mahoney, who later crashed a live BBC news spot shouting, “International paedophile rings are operating in this country, now!”
Mr Maloney tweeted after the incident: “#Budget2014 A good days work. More 2 follow soon.”
After Clegg walked off, a bodyguard put himself between the Deputy Prime Minister and the protesters, who had approached others throughout the day.
It does not seem that the party’s press officers were taking what are quite serious allegations too seriously though as they tweeted soon after:
Photo op disrupted by a lone ‘international paedophile ring’ protester. Looked good beforehand though! pic.twitter.com/n79ao5gdfn
— Lib Dem Press Office (@LibDemPress) March 19, 2014
Clearly they didn’t notice the second protester…