December 11 2013 Latest news:
Iain Dale, political blogger and publisher, scuffles with protestor Stuart Holmes (right) close to where former Labour spin doctor Damian McBride was giving a television interview at the Labour Party Annual Conference in Brighton.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
An EDP columnist and former North Norfolk prospective pariamentary candidate has received a police caution after a scuffle in Brighton outside the Labour conference.
Iain Dale scuffled with veteran anti-nuclear campaigner Stuart Holmes on Brighton seafront as he tried to get his banner out of shot while Labour’s ex-spin doctor Damian McBride was being interviewed on ITV show Daybreak.
Mr Dale has admitted common assault and apologised on his blog, saying he had “behaved in a frankly idiotic way”.
Mr Dale, of Biteback Publishing, voluntarily attended Brighton police station and was questioned about his version of events as part of the police investigation.
The barking of Mr Holmes’s placard-wearing dog was audible to viewers on ITV’s Daybreak as - out of shot - a frustrated Mr Dale grabbed the pensioner’s rucksack and physically hauled him out of the way.
As they tussled on the pavement, with the dog joining in, their confrontation was filmed by other members of the significant media scrum which has attended Mr McBride’s arrival at the conference.
The protester tried to make the best of the situation, holding up his banner reading “No Nukes - Radio Active Dust Cancer Epidemic” to photographers recording the fight.
The men separated and dusted themselves down soon after and Mr Holmes went back to trying to edge his way into view of the cameras.
Mr Dale said the protester- a familiar face to conference-goers for 30 years- was an “idiot” and he had only done “what any self-respecting publisher would do” by stepping in.
But Mr Holmes, originally from Manchester and a veteran of three decades of party conferences, said that after speaking to the police he was considering legal action.
Mr Holmes - who was surprised to be told the interview with Mr McBride was being broadcast live - insisted that the ex-spin doctor saw his placard and appeared “happy with it”.