Protestor who called Sir Iain Duncan Smith ‘Tory scum’ acquitted

17 November 2022

Mira Hammad

A protestor who labelled Sir Iain Duncan Smith ‘Tory scum’ has been acquitted.

Radical Haslam was prosecuted under Section 4A of the Public Order Act after a protest against Sir Iain Duncan Smith as he left the Conservative party conference in Manchester in 2021.

Radical accepted that they had called the former conservative leader ‘Tory scum’ as he walked through the city on his way to a speaking engagement.

The Court heard that this was part of a wider speech in which Radical highlighted the impact of Conservative policies on homeless people, climate change, the NHS and education, explaining to Sir Duncan Smith why people hate the Tory party.

In light of defence submissions on the right to free speech, the Chief Magistrate of England and Wales concluded that he was not satisfied that a conviction would be a proportionate interference with the right to free speech, he could not, therefore, be satisfied that their behaviour was unreasonable, and so duly acquitted Radical Haslam of intentionally causing harassment alarm or distress.

Mira Hammad, of our protest rights team, represented Radical Haslam, instructed by Nicky Hall of Robert Lizar Solicitors.

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