Protester admits calling MP Anna Soubry a Nazi

image captionSelf-proclaimed British "yellow vest" protester James Goddard followed Anna Soubry outside Westminster

A pro-Brexit activist has admitted to public order offences after calling MP Anna Soubry a Nazi outside Parliament.

James Goddard, 30, from Altrincham, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to causing alarm and distress using threatening or abusive language.

He also admitted one racially aggravated public order offence against a police officer.

Goddard filmed himself shouting abuse at Ms Soubry, who supports another Brexit referendum.

He claimed the Remain-supporting MP was a "traitor" over her stance on the country's vote to leave the EU in 2016.

His fellow defendant at Westminster Magistrates Court, Brian Phillips, 55, from Kent, also pleaded guilty to causing alarm and distress using threatening or abusive language.

Both men were released on bail ahead of sentencing on Monday afternoon.

The court heard Ms Soubry was left "very shaken" after her TV interview was interrupted by shouts from protesters on 7 January this year.

Video footage played in court showed the MP then being surrounded by Goddard, Phillips and others as she made her way into the Palace of Westminster.

Another video, from December 2018, showed Goddard wearing a hi-vis vest asking Ms Soubry why she called for a second vote on Brexit, and describing her as both a traitor and a Nazi.

Ms Soubry, who resigned from the Conservative Party in February and is now leader of the Independent Group for Change, said: "They have admitted these crimes and accepted that their behaviour on two occasions outside Parliament was wrong and unjustified.

"Everyone is entitled to go about their lawful business. In a democracy people have a right to peaceful lawful protest.

"No-one has the right to the intimidation and abuse I suffered at the end of December and early January."

Goddard initially faced three charges, including harassment, but new charges were put to the defendants after several hours of legal argument with prosecutors.

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