A BOURNEMOUTH MP has hit out after being threatened with arrest after offering to remove an anti-war protester from scaffolding on the side of a Parliament building.
Tobias Ellwood spotted the protester and an unfurled banner saying: “Troops Home” as he cycled towards the House of Commons’ entrance yesterday morning.
Speaking during questions on future business in the Commons, the Bournemouth East Conservative MP said it was “a strange day in Parliament when an MP is threatened with arrest while a protester can gain access to our roof unchallenged.”
It’s not the first time that the former Army officer has hit the headlines after trying to make a citizen’s arrest.
On June 20 last year he was punched twice after trying to stop a group of youths from playing football in a shopping precinct in Boscombe.
Despite suffering facial bruising during the fracas in Roumelia Lane, Mr Ellwood later offered to “reach out and help” his 19-year-old attacker Thomas Barry who was spared a prison sentence.
Yesterday the MP told the Daily Echo how he had approached police officers standing underneath the anti-war protester and asked why they hadn’t arrested him.
“They came back with that British ubiquitous justification for inertia – health and safety. I then offered to climb up myself and make a citizen’s arrest only to be told to move on or I would be arrested. No other parliament in the world would tolerate it.
“The Leader of the House offered an apology and intends to review what happened and what can be done to improve security.
“He also mentioned complications which would have arisen had I been arrested as this is illegal within the Parliamentary grounds.”
Mr Ellwood added: “Much as we strive to be a model of democracy and open society, Britain does have its adversaries and those that wish us harm. It therefore suggests the Mother of all Parliaments has lost its way.”
In 2008 Mr Ellwood confronted a gang of youths who had urinated in a garden. Despite being verbally abused and having stones thrown at him, the MP urged more people to confront antisocial behaviour.