Anti lockdown protestors chase out BBC reporter

The journalist was covering an anti-lockdown protest in Westminster Monday when he was accosted by angry demonstrators about the BBC’s reporting on the lockdown.

Nicholas Watt, Newsnight’s political editor, could be seen in a video footage being shouted at by a woman who kept following him when he attempted to move away, even past a line of police outside Downing Street.

The journalist could be seen running from the mob as the police looks on

While still walking away, he was surrounded by a group of men who hurled insults and curses at him and the BBC for their coverage of the ongoing lockdown in the UK. One of Mr Watt’s abusers could be heard asking:

why did you lie and say lockdowns are legal, how can it be legal to lock people in their house.

After several failed attempts to escape the growing mob, the reporter could be seen running through the crowd to chants of ‘scum.’

According to the Metropolitan police, a man in his fifties has been interviewed as part of investigations into Monday’s incidents while another is being sought.

General condemnation

The anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown demonstrators—dozens of them—marched through Westminster on Monday as the Prime Minister announced a month-long extension of the coronavirus restrictions after a rise in cases.

Boris Johnson has since condemned the ‘disgraceful’ assault on the journalist.

The National Union of Journalists found it shocking that the police looked on while the journalist was being accosted.

In a statement condemning the act, it said:

It is genuinely shocking that a man escaping a mob screaming at him, shouting traitor and calling him scum, didn’t result in the police immediately intervening.

Mr Watt’s colleague on Newsnight, Esme Wren in a tweet said the harassment and intimidation of a journalist in the line of duty was ‘completely unacceptable.

All journalists should be able to do their work without impediment or risking their safety

In a statement, the BBC said:

The safety of journalists is fundamental to any democracy – they must be able to report unhindered free from abuse.
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