Nick Watt: Man charged after BBC journalist chased by anti-lockdown protesters

Martin Hockridge, 57, will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court charged with public order offence

Chiara Giordano
Wednesday 16 June 2021 18:23
<p>A man has been charged with a public order offence after BBC journalist Nick Watt was chased by lockdown protesters near Downing Street</p>

A man has been charged with a public order offence after BBC journalist Nick Watt was chased by lockdown protesters near Downing Street

A man has been charged after a BBC journalist was chased by anti-lockdown protesters in Westminster.

Video footage showed Newsnight’s political editor Nicholas “Nick” Watt being pursued by protesters outside Downing Street on Monday afternoon.

The Metropolitan Police said an investigation was launched after officers reviewing the recording “identified a number of possible offences”.

Martin Hockridge, 57, of Harpenden, Hertfordshire, was interviewed under caution at a Hertfordshire police station on Tuesday.

He was later charged with a public order offence and will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 29 June.

Detectives are appealing for the public’s help to identify other people who were involved in the incident.

Police said in a statement: “Officers investigating an incident in which a journalist was confronted and chased in the vicinity of Whitehall have charged a man.

“A video that has been shared widely on social media shows a group of protestors pursuing the journalist first on Whitehall, then into Richmond Terrace, on the afternoon of Monday, 14 June.

“After reviewing the video footage, officers identified a number of possible offences and an investigation was launched.

“On Tuesday afternoon, Martin Hockridge, 57, of Harpenden, was interviewed under caution at a Hertfordshire police station.

“Later the same evening, he was charged with an offence under Section 4A of the Public Order Act, namely using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards another person with the intention to cause them harassment, alarm or distress.”

Anyone with information should call 101 or tweet @MetCC.

To give information anonymously, call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.