Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Egg-wielding Brexit supporter who struck Jeremy Corbyn jailed for 28 days

Jeremy Corbyn is presented with some flowers as he arrives at the Finsbury Park Mosque, March 2019. Credit: PA

A Brexit supporter who yelled “respect the vote” as he struck Jeremy Corbyn while clutching an egg has been jailed.

The Labour leader has been forced to review his security after the attack in his constituency by John Murphy, which came less than a week after his party announced it would support a second referendum on EU membership.

The assault on March 3 came amid heightened tensions over Brexit.

Several Remain-supporting politicians have reported receiving death threats while MPs have been warned about their safety.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot acknowledged the “current climate” as she jailed remorseless Murphy, 31, of Barnet, north-west London, for 28 days on Monday after he admitted a charge of assault by beating.

She told Westminster Magistrates’ Court: “An attack like this is an attack on our democratic process.”

Ms Arbuthnot had warned she wanted to send the message that “attacks on our MPs must stop” and noted Mr Corbyn has been forced to review his security, which could hinder his ability to meet voters.

Mr Corbyn, in a statement read to the court, said he was “shocked and surprised” by the attack, which saw Murphy’s hand connect with the MP’s head.

“I feel these kind of attacks drive a wedge between elected representatives and those who elect them in the first place. We are now reviewing and increasing my security protection,” he said.

Mr Corbyn had gone to the Muslim Welfare Centre with shadow home secretary Diane Abbott after visiting north London’s Finsbury Park mosque, which was the site of the terror attack by far-right extremist Darren Osborne.

CCTV footage shows Mr Murphy rising from his chair behind Mr Corbyn and calmly walking over to the Labour leader and striking him.

Mr Corbyn and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott at the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London in March 2019. Credit: PA

Prosecutor Kevin Christie told the court that Mr Corbyn took off his shoes and sat down next to his wife Laura Alvarez and a group of people who seemed to be “in great spirits”.

“Suddenly, he felt a strike to the right side of his forehead and then realised someone had reached over his right shoulder and struck him,” Mr Christie said.

“As he was struck, he heard a male voice shouting: ‘Respect the vote.'”

Mr Corbyn, after washing the egg off to reveal a red mark on his head, witnessed a “very aggressive” Murphy being restrained while his face was “contorted” with rage.

The Labour leader said in the victim impact statement that he was “determined” to continue to interact with the public, but accepted he must now “be more cautious”.

Labour declined to comment on the increased security measures.

Malik Aldeiri, in mitigation, blamed Murphy’s “frustration and anger borne out of the political situation we find ourselves in”.

“He felt he was making a statement. He believes his civil rights were violated and this was a demonstration by him against what he says is a failure by Parliament to adhere to his democratic vote,” Mr Aldeiri added.