The recent attack on Nicholas Watt, the senior journalist at BBC, had angered the PM and home secretary when anti-lockdown protestors confronted him. Boris Johnson was quick to slam the incident calling it appalling and disgraceful. The moment the footage of the journalist went viral on the web, the cops started their investigation and interviewed one man this Tuesday and also checked the video going viral of the journalist. Nick Watt is a seasoned journalist and is engaged at BBC Newsnight as political editor. The incident took place near parliament this Monday when several unmasked protestors were seen yelling at his face.
Watt was having his BBC lanyard when they hurled words like traitor while others were slurring at him. With the incident getting viral, the Metropolitan Police have already started the investigation, and they claim that there are several probable offenses, which have been discovered after they reviewed the footage. The BBC was quick to issue a statement this Tuesday stating that the behavior is unacceptable and that the journalists are not supposed to intimidate while they are at work. This also made Boris Johnson tweet on the microblogging site calling the protestors disgraceful who hounded the senior journalist while he was busy in his job. He further added that the media should be allowed to report the facts without any favor or fear, and he called these professionals the lifeblood of democracy.
Prit Patel, the home secretary, also tweeted, saying that the video of the journalist getting heckled by the mob is distressing and appalling and not at all acceptable. He further added, saying that safety to our media people is their basic right in any democracy. He also informed that the UK government had launched a consultation to understand the intensity of the threat and the abuse against several journalists linked with it. Even the journalist body, the National Union of Journalists, also raised this issue and demanded a quick probe. They alleged the Police, saying that their inaction led to this incident, who remained a mute spectator as clearly seen in the footage.
Talking about the incident, the GS of NUJ Michelle Stanistreet called the incident taking place at Downing Street against the senior BBC journalist by the protestors outrageous and frightening. She further called it shocking to hear how a man among the protestors was shouting at the journalist, calling him a traitor while others slurred at him. She demanded action against the protestors who heckled the journalist. She said that no tolerance should be shown against the abusive behavior and why he was bogged down when he was busy doing the job. The incident is now being publicly criticized especially when it took place in the very presence of the Police who seemed a mute spectator. As the 45 seconds video based on the incident went viral, the issue is becoming big in the media. It can be seen that the Police were present near the place where the incident took place and they did not take any action.