In one video, many are shared on Twitter, a man, dressed only in a leather biker jacket, barked “traitor” repeatedly at Mr Watt as he was more in the crowd. Another man with a busty blue shirt collided with the fleeing Mr Watts almost knocking him to the ground and shouting in his face.
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Mr. Watt was chased by a line of Metropolitan Police officers who showed nothing to be done to stop the pursuit. protesters.
A man aged 50 was interviewed by police at a Hertfordshire police station in connection with the incident, the Met said.
Boris Johnson condemned the “embarrassing” shot of the BBC journalist being harassed.
The Prime Minister tweeted: “It’s embarrassing to see Nick Watt’s account doing his job. The media should report the facts without fear or favor-they are the blood of our democracy.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel condemned the “shocking and saddening” shot.
Ms Patel tweeted: “The video on @BBCNewsnight of Nick Watt being abused by a mob is frightening and heartbreaking.” This behavior is never acceptable. “
He added: “The safety of journalists is essential to our democracy.
It’s embarrassing to see Nick Watt’s hounding doing his job.
The media must report the facts without fear or favor – they are the blood of our democracy.
– Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) June 15, 2021
“This month the Government launched a consultancy to better understand the nature and extent of the threats and abuses against journalists operating in the UK.”
Downing Street was previously said to have seen Boris Johnson see the footage. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said in a statement in Westminster on Tuesday: “This shot is extremely disturbing and journalists will never deal with such behavior.
“The right to protest may be essential to our democracy but violence, intimidation and intimidation like this are never acceptable.”
The BBC said in a statement: “This behavior is totally unacceptable.
“All journalists should be able to do their job without intimidation or obstruction.”
The chairman of the newly launched GB News, Andrew Neil, tweeted: “Shameful treatment of Nick Watt. A good reporter and good friend. Humiliated by threatening and looting the mob. Simply horrible. Dealing. -one to Nick. “
Labor MP Sarah Jones, sharing the footage, added: “The abuse of the good man who seeks to do his job is severe.”
Metropolitan Police said an investigation was launched after a “number of possible violations” were identified in the capture. It said: “A man in his fifties was interviewed by Met detectives at a Hertfordshire police station in connection with the incident. A second man has been identified and is being actively sought by officers.”
The force added in a statement: “We are aware of a video shared online showing a journalist being aggressively confronted and chased by a group of protesters in the Whitehall neighborhood on Monday June 14th.
“The conduct shown in the video is unacceptable. Members of the public, in any profession, have the right to continue their day without being subjected to verbal harassment or actions that put them in fear for their safety.”
After some suggested online officials should have been involved in the incident, the force said: “At this time, while officers are on the sidelines of the police response to the ongoing protest, they are not in close proximity. place of occurrence.
“It was not clear at the time what exactly happened but after the video footage was reviewed, a number of possible violations were identified and an investigation was launched.”