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UK Politics

A new media egging: Ed Miliband scrambled by public egging at East Street market

38-year-old cycle courier, at first, seemed to be just another curious onlooker

It was a very new media egging.

Shortly after one o’clock a 38-year-old cycle courier called Dean Porter tweeted: “Watch the news tonight, I suspect I might be on it”.

Moments later the first egg flew towards Ed Miliband.

Until then the Labour leader had been on a chaotic, if unremarkable, walk-about in a South London market.

It was Mr Miliband’s first public appearance by since returning from holiday and Labour’s recent travails (plus a general August lack of political news) ensured he was trailed by unusually large contingent of media.

Mr Porter, at first, seemed to be just another curious member of the public out to see what all the fuss was about.

As Mr Miliband walked into a ‘pop up’ shop he chatted to journalists and when asked by a member of Mr Miliband’s entourage what would make him vote Labour he joked: “his brother”.

But then as Mr Miliband made his way down the street Mr Porter went to the other side of the narrow road and took aim.

The first egg hit Mr Miliband on his head and jacket. The second landed on the Telegraph sketch writer. Another hit a Guardian reporter until market security guards got in the way.

That didn’t stop him though. He carried on trying to throw eggs indiscriminately until all six had gone. As the guards tried to pin him down he shouted “It’s alright. All the eggs are spent now.”

Interviewed by reporters afterwards he said was trying to make a serious point. Mr Porter had previously been homeless for five years and said he believed that the then Labour Government hadn’t cared about the poor.

“If you’re poor you’re considered a burden,” he said. “All they care about is the bankers.

“He hasn't represented the poor enough just like any other politician.”

He added that when he had heard Mr Miliband was coming to the market he saw it as an “opportunist moment” to make a protest.

His crude political gesture made Mr Porter sauntered off - later tweeting: “I got the bugger!!! Lol.”

Mr Miliband also responded on Twitter and appeared, at least in public, to take the episode in good humour.

“Thanks to all at East St Market for the warm welcome today,” he wrote. “Can recommend it for easy availability of eggs.”