James Goddard, the self-styled British Yellow Vest who caused outcry when he branded Remainer MP Anna Soubry a “Nazi”, has been arrested.
Goddard, whose actions were described as “a type of fascism” by the Speaker of the House of Commons, had challenged the MP for the Leave-supporting constituency of Broxtowe near the Palace of Westminster with a group of supporters, asking why she was working to stop Brexit despite claiming to support its delivery ahead of the 2017 snap election, and branding her a “Nazi”.
The consequences were swift for the protestor — described as “far right” by most media outlets — with his Facebook and PayPal pages both being taken down within hours of the incident going viral.
Video footage of the arrest now appears to show Goddard being put in the back of a police van by an extremely large number of police officers. The Met has confirmed “that a man in his 30s was arrested at 11.42hrs on Saturday, 12 January outside St James Park Tube station on suspicion of a public order offence” committed on January 7th — although they declined to name Goddard explicitly.
UPDATE: James Goddard arrested outside St James’s Park tube station for an alleged public order offence outside Parliament last week. pic.twitter.com/aV4wEV4ozR
— Kay Burley (@KayBurley) January 12, 2019
Goddard has defended his characterisation of Ms Soubry, saying the Tory MP had “shown [herself] willing to fight in favour of vested corporate interests, against the will of the people, and she is now trying to shut down legitimate free speech because it is inconvenient for her… those showing fascist, totalitarian, globalist tendencies should and will be compared to their greatest 20th-century counterparts: the National Socialist Party of Germany.”
Some observers who are not even especially sympathetic to Goddard and his boisterous group have raised concerns about the furious reaction to their protest.
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, for example, remarked on the apparent contrast between the swift retribution when people targeted an EU loyalist politician with the many years where Brexit campaigners like himself were branded Nazis and “racist scum” without punishment or any particular sympathy from the mainstream media.
“MPs, public figures, should be free to go about and express their opinion without the threat of violence — but if we try now to put in place laws, or if the police start prosecuting people, for throwing terms of abuse, that reaction, I think, would be over the top,” he warned.
WATCH | @Nigel_Farage: "I've suffered this every day, year after year. My family was attacked, the car was smashed up, written off and the police didn't pursue a single prosecution. Those within the Establishment get a taste of it and suddenly they want the law changed!" pic.twitter.com/YnNthhWU6U
— Leave.EU (@LeaveEUOfficial) January 8, 2019
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