icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

‘BBC stooge’ heckled & chased by anti-lockdown protesters in Westminster in harrowing VIDEO

‘BBC stooge’ heckled & chased by anti-lockdown protesters in Westminster in harrowing VIDEO
BBC Newsnight political editor Nicholas Watt faced palpable hostility at an anti-lockdown rally on Downing Street and had to flee behind the police barrier from hecklers chasing him and calling him a “traitor.”

The encounter was filmed and released by a group called Resistance GB during a small Monday protest against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to postpone the lifting of the lockdown in England by four more weeks. Watt approached the cameraman, apparently mistaking him for someone working for GB News, the freshly-launched opinionated news channel.

It didn’t take long after his mistake was clarified for the the Resistance GB crew to start accusing Watt of “reporting lies” about Covid-19 on behalf of the government while receiving his paycheck from the British public. The BBC editor, who wore his press card around his neck, declined to respond and tried to walk away.

The scene quickly escalated into a hectic chase by several participants of the rally. People hounded the journalist, booing at him, calling him a “traitor” and even grabbing him by the shoulder at one point. Watts eventually managed to escape, running to gain some distance from his pursuers and fleeing behind a police barrier guarding the prime minister’s residence.

Resistance GB didn’t hide its animosity towards the BBC and called Watt a “stooge” in the title of the video.

The incident was widely condemned by British media and public figures. Newsnight editor Esme Wren said it was “completely unacceptable” to harass and intimidate any journalist. Guardian columnist Owen Jones called the scene “disturbing” and a case study of radicalization of the public.

“Various right-wing media outlets have given a platform to conspiratorial ideas about Covid-19, and now there's an entire TV station to fuel them further,” he said in an apparent jab at GB News.

Tom Harwood, who works for GB News, was in agreement with his left-leaning colleagues. He called the footage “absolutely horrifying” and branded the hecklers “vile and intimidating thugs.”

MPs across the political aisle likewise condemned the incident. Tory MP Alicia Kearns shamed the “baying mob” and said “Nick Watt deserves better.” Labour’s Angela Rayner said she was “horrified by the video of [Watt] being abused for doing his job.”

Also on rt.com Johnson pushes England’s Covid lockdown exit back a month amid spread of Delta variant and rising ICU rates

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts