Disabled activist ‘violently dragged out of Rees-Mogg talk’
Tuesday 3rd Oct 2017
ANTI-AUSTERITY protesters were violently evicted from a public meeting attended by Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg yesterday.
One of the activists, who is disabled, alleged to the Star he was “slapped in the face” by a Tory activist and bundled out by security who stamped on his leg before dragging him down a corridor.
Alex Knox was at the front of the meeting and said he was “peacefully protesting” when a group of Tories tried to grab his banner and “became increasingly aggressive.”
He and Mr Rees-Mogg had been debating the impact of austerity on disabled people.
Mr Knox said: “Six burly security guards came in and jumped on me, my leg was getting injured and I’ve suffered bruising on my leg, which is in a brace.
“About eight of them took me out into a corridor and were really aggressive. I told them they were hurting me. I was in agony as they dragged me down the stairs and some of them stamped on my leg.”
Mr Knox said the police told the security guards to let him go and officers are now investigating the assault complaint.
The Star contacted the Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) for comment but did not receive a reply before going to print.
The small protest group attended the meeting to express “disgust” at Tory austerity policies and views on abortion that are espoused by Mr Rees-Mogg, who many see as a future leader of the party.
Hundreds of Mr Rees-Mogg’s supporters attended the meeting organised by the Bruges Group for a panel discussion on Brexit.
People’s Assembly activist Shabbir Lakha spoke to him before he took to the stage. He told the MP that he was a liar for saying Tory policies have lifted people out of poverty.
Mr Lakha asked: “Really? Depending on foodbanks is making people’s lives better?”
Mr Rees-Mogg claimed that the Tories had the highest number of people in employment since the 1970s, which Mr Lakha pointed out was based on precarious employment and poverty pay.
The conversation continued until Mr Lakha was “aggressively bundled out” of the building by security.
People’s Assembly national organiser Ramona McCartney said she felt “violated” at the Manchester Town Hall event.
People’s Assembly national secretary Sam Fairbairn told the Star: “When faced with true public opinion, they bundle people out of the meeting by security because they can’t face it.”