Jacob Rees-Mogg hounded off university campus by pro-Palestine activists

The demonstration against Sir Jacob Rees Mogg at Cardiff University was met with concerns over harassment and intimidation

Sophie Wingate
Saturday 27 April 2024 19:20 BST
Jacob Rees-Mogg chased by pro-Palestine protesters after Cardiff University speech

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Louise Thomas

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Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg was hounded by pro-Palestine protesters as he left a university after giving a talk at its Conservative association, triggering concerns over a “culture of intimidation” in politics.

Footage showed the Tory MP faced with demonstrators shouting and swearing as he was escorted to a vehicle by eight security guards outside Cardiff University on Friday evening.

The former business secretary, who is MP for Bath and North East Somerset, is no stranger to protests, but the confrontation has raised concerns over the “unacceptable” harassment of politicians, with it coming in the wake of a number of attacks on MPs.

The protest was organised by Welsh Underground Network and Cardiff Communists, with the former tweeting afterwards: “We helped organise a demonstration against this imperialist politician.”

But Conservative Party chairman Richard Holden wrote on social media site Twitter/X: “How silly of these morons – whatever they think their cause is, they do it a disservice.

“I’m sure @Jacob_Rees_Mogg will have taken it in his stride but no elected politician should have to put up with this shrill intimidatory idiocy.”

Jo Stevens, Labour’s shadow Welsh secretary, also condemned the demonstrators. She said: “Concerned by footage of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s treatment by protesters in Cardiff.

“I disagree with him on almost everything, but we cannot accept a culture of intimidation in our politics.

“The right to lawful protest is sacrosanct, but harassment and intimidation is unacceptable.”

Sir Jacob managed to get away from the noisy demonstration in the vehicle after a protester draped himself over the car’s bonnet before being pulled away by guards.

The Tory former cabinet minister said: “It was a legitimate and peaceful if noisy protest.

“The Cardiff University security team was exemplary in allowing a lawful protest while keeping everyone safe.

Universities ought to be bastions of free speech, and as both the protesters and I were able to give our views without fear or intimidation the proper traditions of adversarial debate were upheld.”

Two weeks ago, a man who launched a campaign of harassment against City of Chester MP Samantha Dixon was jailed for six weeks. And in February, a man was given a hospital order after making threats to kill Brent North MP Barry Gardiner.

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