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James Goddard: Yellow vest organiser ‘threatens’ journalists at Manchester protest

James Goddard: Yellow vest organiser ‘threatens’ journalists at Manchester protest

British yellow vest activist James Goddard appeared to threaten journalists and anti-racist campaigners at a protest in Manchester, a month after his arrest for a public order offence.

The pro-Brexit campaigner, who is a supporter of far-right figurehead Tommy Robinson, was captured on video telling a photographer: “Next time you are down we will see what happens.”

He then used a megaphone to address the crowd: “Trust me, when you are in London next one, it ain’t gonna be the same as it is here. Each and every one of you, when you come back to London, things are going to be a lot different.”

Mr Goddard, wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with photographs of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un, was also filmed telling a Muslim woman: “You are a disgrace to Islam.”

Paul Jenkins, north-west organiser at Unite Against Fascism, told The Independent: “I could see he was behaving in a very threatening manner. He was behaving that way to a Muslim woman, calling her a disgrace to Islam, and behaving that way towards journalists and photographers.

“He was suggesting to journalists that if you come to London, you will face harassment, so it was a clear threat.”

Anti-fascist and anti-racist campaigners, who mounted their own counter-protest, said on Twitter they had forced the yellow-vest group to “scuttle away”.

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Mr Goddard was arrested outside St James’ Park Tube station in central London on 12 January after politicians wrote to the Metropolitan Police to express their “serious concerns” about the “deteriorating public order and security situation” outside parliament.

The suspected offence relates to incidents that took place in Westminster on 7 January – the same day pro-Remain MP Anna Soubry was called a “Nazi” while giving live interviews.

He was released on police bail until early February and an update on the investigation is expected on Thursday.

Last month Facebook and Paypal deleted Mr Goddard’s accounts, which he used to organise “yellow vest” protests and raise funds. His Twitter profile was also suspended.

Greater Manchester Police said there were no arrests or reported disorders following the protest.

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