BBC journalist Nicholas Watt chased through streets by anti-lockdown protesters

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Nick Watt
Nick Watt

A BBC journalist was chased and abused at an anti-lockdown protest outside Westminster.

Videos posted on social media show Nicholas Watt, the political editor of BBC Newsnight, being followed by a large group of protesters chanting "traitor" and "scum".

One can be heard shouting: "Why have you reported that lockdowns are legal? How can it be legal to lock people in their houses?"

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The aggressive group forced Mr Watt to turn around and sprint back to safety behind the gates of Downing Street, which were heavily guarded by police due to the protest.

A spokeswoman for BBC News said: "This behaviour is completely unacceptable. All journalists should be able to carry out their work without intimidation or impediment."

The editor of BBC Newsnight, Esme Wren, added: "Harassing and intimidating any journalist is completely unacceptable."

MPs on both sides of the House condemned the scenes. Tory MP Alicia Keanes said: "This is just so utterly wrong. Shame, shame on all those in this video behaving appalling. A baying mob. Nick Watt deserves better. Society deserves better."

Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner said: "I am horrified by the video of him being abused for doing his job. A free press is integral to our democracy."

SNP MP Gavin Newlands said the individuals who chased Mr Watt were "utter scumbags".

This is a breaking news story, more to follow.

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