Ugly scenes unfolded around Parliament yesterday as UKIP’s only MP, 44-year-old Douglas Carswell, was mobbed by dozens of angry protesters.
Understandably “frightened and shaken” by the ordeal, Carswell was bundled into a police van and driven away to safety as the sound of activists chanting “UKIP racist” reverberated throughout Parliament Square.
At one point the demonstrators, some feeling the need to wear facial scarves to mask their identity, were blocked by uniformed police interlinking their arms.
Speaking on the incident, Carswell stated:
It got extremely nasty. Their intentions were pretty murderous and I needed a lot of police officers to prevent them from attacking me.
A statement from Scotland Yard confirmed that three people were arrested during the fracas: two on suspicion of violent disorder and one on suspicion of assaulting a police officer. All were taken to the central London station for processing.
Those involved in the unfortunate incident were a small minority of people who attended an otherwise mainly peaceful anti-austerity protest earlier in the day. A simple (but unfortunately all too common) case of extremists extracting credibility from a valid and worthwhile cause.
Whatever your personal feelings towards UKIP – and I know I have mine – they have as much freedom to express their thoughts, opinions and feelings as any other group in society. And that’s the way it should stay because that is one of the things that makes our country great.