‘You’re a parasite’: Tory MP launches angry tirade against Brexit protester outside parliament

Lee Anderson, the MP for Ashfield, accused Steve Bray of looking like a ‘tramp’

Jon Stone
Policy Correspondent
Thursday 21 April 2022 08:49 BST
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Tory MP Lee Anderson tells Brexit protester he is 'nothing but a parasite'

A Conservative MP has launched a verbal tirade against an anti-Brexit protester outside parliament, telling him: "You're nothing but a parasite".

Lee Anderson, who was elected MP for Ashfield in 2019, was asked by activist Steve Bray whether he would still be supporting "liar" Boris Johnson to stay as prime minister.

Mr Anderson, who was accompanied by guests and two police officers at the time, appeared angered by the question, stating: "At least I've got a job to lose, you haven't got one."

The activist, who is regularly seen outside parliament urging the government to reverse Brexit, said: "My job's annoying and holding people like you to account."

But the MP replied: "You're nothing but a parasite. We've established that. You're a scrounger. Why are you here dressed like a tramp?"

Asked whether he was being "derogatory" towards people without jobs, Mr Anderson said: "I'll rephrase that: If you smartened yourself up you'd make a good tramp."

Mr Anderson said Mr Bray should apply for a job. But the activist replied that his supporters were willing to crowd-fund his work because they "cannot stand liars, cheats, charlatans, fraudsters, and con-artists – people like yourself – in office."

The pair exchanged further words along a similar theme before Mr Anderson, a staunch Brexiteer, said goodbye to his guests and headed towards parliament’s security cordon.

Mr Bray is a recognisable site in Westminster, usually wearing a blue top hat and blasting protest music from a sound-system that can sometimes be heard inside parliament.

He told The Independent after the encounter: "Lee Anderson is very derogatory about those less fortunate in life, the fact he tries to imply I am a tramp and on benefits is insulting those people that actually are.

"This is what the Tories generally feel about those without wealth, they feel that they are superior. The reality is that they are the lowest of the low, to lie , cheat and steal from the people they are supposed to serve is the true value of their worth!"

The Ashfield MP Mr Anderson previously hit the headlines last summer when he announced he would not be watching the England national football team at Euro 2020 because players were taking a knee before matches.

It is not the first time the MP and activist have come to blows. July 2021, a video emerged of a previous encounter between Mr Bray and Mr Anderson – in which the MP also called Mr Bray a "parasite" while drinking in a Westminster pub.

Mr Anderson told his local newspaper NottinghamLive after that encounter that Mr Bray had subjected him to a “torrent of vile abuse”. The protester had accused him of lying according to a video of that incident.

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