A man who heckled Brexit leader Nigel Farage and was reported in the British media as merely being a “member of the public” is actually a Labour activist and local chairman recently photographed with far-left party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Several newspapers and broadcasters reported on the stunt, referring to Cumbrian local Karl Connor as a “member of the public”, “man in the street”, and in the case of hard-left pressure group Momentum merely as a “rugby player” — but none seemed to have noticed that the author of the apparently chance encounter was actually a political activist and a Labour chairman as recently as May 2019.
Indeed, while internet archiving services show Mr Connor removed the words “Chair of Copeland Constituency Labour Party” from his Twitter biography shortly before the stunt, local news articles referring to both his position as the local Labour chairman and to his time as a Labour local government elected councillor remain online.
— Momentum (@PeoplesMomentum) November 7, 2019
Far from being a concerned member of the public taking the chance to have an impromptu chat with a political leader in the street, Connor frequently posts about internal Labour party politics on his online account, including a recent posed picture with party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Ironically — despite the apparent deception, knowing or unknowing, of the mainstream media presenting Connor as an ordinary “man in the street” — the Labour chairman used his moments with Farage to accuse the Brexit leader of spreading lies.
The tactic of disguising well-informed party activists as ordinary members of the public and hoping the press will fall for the ruse is becoming an increasingly well worn-one in the United Kingdom, with several such cases recently revealed. In September, British newspaper The Sun reported the “furious dad” who ambushed PM Boris Johnson during a tour of a hospital was, far from being an ordinary member of the public who saw a chance to take an unusual opportunity to talk to the Prime Minister directly, actually a dedicated Labour activist and anti-Brexit campaigner.
Diehard anti-Brexit campaigner and former Member of Parliament Anna Soubry has also been caught up in this false-flag activist trend, with Westminster gossip blog Guido Fawkes revealing her interview with a Brexit voter turned second referendum supporter was actually a Liberal Democrat who was anti-Brexit all along, apparently “lying” for the cameras.
Mr Farage, for his part, has been the victim of more malicious street heckling than secret Labour chairman Karl Connor. During the 2019 European election campaign, the Brexit leader had a milkshake thrown in his face during a walkabout in Newcastle. Paul Crowther, who was photographed smiling as he was led away in handcuffs after the attack was subsequently convicted of common assault.
Breitbart London has approached Karl Connor for comment.
EDINBURGH! Apparently @Nigel_Farage is visiting our capital tonight – please show him the hospitality you showed him last time. Anyone manages to get a bonus milkshake in and I'll buy you a pint. https://t.co/LEboQuLohD
— Aidan Moffat (@AidanJohnMoffat) May 17, 2019