Yellow Pests – and Soubry

After the protesters in yellow hi-viz jackets had spent some time harassing SODEM and the police on duty in Old Palace Yard, opposite the House of Lords, they moved off to protest outside the vehicle entrance in front of the House of Commons

By now the other photographers who had been photographing the harassment had walked away to file their pictures, but I’d stayed on, wondering if there might be other things happening, and went over to photograph the protesters crowding around and blocking the vehicle entrance, with police trying to clear them to one side. In the crowd watching them there I met an oddly dressed youngish man with CHristmas Pudding glasses who I photographed and exchanged a few words with; I couldn’t disagree with his assessment of the protesters as nutters.

I went back briefly to Old Palace Yard and photographed him rather better as he came to talk with Steven Bray of SODEM, and was filmed by a two man camera team who were accompanying him. I’ve no idea who he was, perhaps a vlogger (perhaps someone will enlighten me), but was amused by his appearance, and when I saw him going with his team to photograph the yellow jacketed protesters who were now outside the public entrance to Parliament, I followed to watch.

The protesters were upset that they were not being allowed into Parliament and complaining loudly, though

Filmed by his crew he did a rather jokey kind of interview, to which they responded fairly warmly. At the end I heard him say to his crew how relieved he was that was over, and was going to talk with him when I heard one of the men in yellow vests point out Ann Soubry, who was talking to a couple of people a few yards away and as the people she was talking left, he up to her and started accusing her loudly over her opposition to Brexit.

She obviously recognised him, calling him by his name ‘James’ (which I remembered wrongly) and then turned and walked away, with him and 3 or 4 others following. It wasn’t easy to keep in a position where I could keep her in view as apart from the small group following her, and by now shouting at her, there were other people around in a fairly restricted space. A couple of the protesters were also filming her on their phones and did rather get in my way.

As she got close to a police officer she stopped and turned loudly towards the protesters shouting that she would not be called a ‘f**king traitor’ and that that was an offence, then calling over the officer to assist her. He seemed to come rather slowly and reluctantly.

The argument continued with the protesters getting close to her and filming her and continuing to accuse her of betraying them over Brexit.

Eventually a police officer did come around to our side ot the barriers and she was escorted away, but no action was taken against the protesters. I was rather surprised at what seemed their lack of interest in what was going on. Perhaps they felt, as I admit I did, that the MP was rather playing up the incident for publicity. It was no more serious than the behaviour of these protesters earlier against Steve Bray and SODEM, if anything rather less threatening.

Later Ms Soubry raised the harassment with the Speaker of the House of Commons. I’d realised when taking the pictures of the incident that, apart from the protesters I was the only person with pictures of it, and that it was the kind of fairly trivial incident that could be excite the media that has little interest in real news. I rushed home to be rather faster than usual to get the pictures into the agency and was pleased to see one of my pictures used in several newspapers.

More at
Extremist Brexiteers at parliament
Anna Soubry MP harassed by extremists


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