Birmingham & Black Country

Tory delegate 'shocked' by slap from Chinese journalist

Linlin Kong Image copyright CCTV-13
Image caption Kong Linlin is a correspondent for China's official state broadcaster

A Conservative Party delegate denied he was "looking for trouble" when he was slapped by a Chinese journalist.

Enoch Lieu said he was left in shock after the alleged assault at the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham last year.

He told Birmingham Magistrates that Kong Linlin, a correspondent for China's official state broadcaster CCTV, hit him during an event discussing democracy in Hong Kong.

Ms Kong, 49, denies common assault.

Mr Lieu, a member of Newcastle-under-Lyme Conservatives, told the trial how Ms Kong had accused panellists at the conference of trying to "separate" China during the fringe event on 30 September 2018.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The 2018 Conservative Party Conference was held at Birmingham's ICC

Ms Kong, of King's Cross in London, had started to shout and labelled panellists as "puppets", Mr Lieu said, when he asked her to leave.

"While I was continuing to request her to leave, at that point she slapped me on my left cheek," he said.

For the defence, Timothy Raggatt QC, asked Mr Lieu: "You were the problem, weren't you?" and said the delegate had changed his statement after realising he had lied about the incident to police.

"What had happened was that this lady had been shouting out questions to the panel - journalists do that in order to get information," Mr Raggatt said.

"You stepped in and confronted her. The simple reality is that you started to manhandle her," he said, which Mr Lieu denied.

The trial continues.

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