James Goddard: Yellow vest activist released on bail after arrest

It is understood pro-Brexit campaigner was detained in connection with harassment of MP Anna Soubry

Chiara Giordano
Sunday 13 January 2019 12:54 GMT
Yellow vests: Protesters from right and left demonstrate in high-vis jackets in London

Yellow vest activist James Goddard joined his supporters in a pub after being released by police following his arrest.

The pro-Brexit campaigner was detained in London on Saturday on suspicion of a public order offence but later bailed without charge until early February.

A police spokeswoman said the arrest was related to incidents that took place in Westminster on 7 January – the same day pro-Remain MP Anna Soubry was called a “Nazi” while giving live interviews outside parliament.

Mr Goddard’s supporters claimed he was about to hand himself in at Holborn police station at midday when he was arrested just shortly before outside St James’ Park underground station.

He joined cheering protesters for a pint at the Queens Head pub in Holborn after his release on Saturday.

The activist’s arrest came during a day of mass rallies across the capital after a number of recent pro-Brexit protests in London, including demonstrations outside parliament.

A cross-party group of MPs signed a formal letter to Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick after Ms Soubry was harangued by a group of men as she made her way back to parliament on Monday.

The politicians expressed their “serious concerns” about the “deteriorating public order and security situation” outside parliament.

Mr Goddard, a leading member of the UK ‘yellow vests’ – named after the gilet jaunes protesters in France – previously vowed the group’s activities would continue after Facebook and PayPal suspended his accounts.

“They had me removed but I most certainly haven’t gone,” he wrote on a new fundraising page set up on the DonorBox website on Wednesday.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman told The Independent on Saturday: “We can confirm that a man in his 30s was arrested at 11.42am on Saturday, 12 January, outside St James’ Park Tube station, on suspicion of a public order offence.”

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