Westminster has been plagued this week by a handful of protesters shouting abuse at politicians and journalists, sparking safety concerns and prompting calls for police intervention.
In one particularly shocking incident, Tory MP Anna Soubry was repeatedly called a “Nazi” during a live BBC News broadcast, in an incident described as “aggressive, threatening and intimidating”.
On Tuesday police held a special press conference to say officers had been “briefed to intervene appropriately” in the event of physical intimidation or abuse outside parliament.
But who are the people shouting at MPs – and what do they want?
The most prominent member of the group appears to be a man called James Goddard, who featured prominently in a number of videos posted on social media on a particularly adversarial day outside Parliament in which he heckled Soubry, and journalists Owen Jones and Kay Burley, all in the space of just a few hours.
Not a lot is known about him – and he did not reply to interview requests from HuffPost UK – but his social media presence and pages on crowd-funding websites appears to paint a picture of a pro-Brexit, anti-Muslim activist with a love of confrontation, a propensity to believe in conspiracy theories, and a fondness for the far-right activist Tommy Robinson.
A page under his name the on crowd-funding website Patreon is currently “under review” but according to an archived version, Goddard began campaigning after the deaths of three teenagers in January of last year.
Harry Rice, 17, and 16-year-olds George Wilkinson and Josh McGuinness were killed in a hit-and-run on their way to a birthday party in Hayes, west London.
In March, Jaynesh Chudasama, 28,…