Protester interrupts Blair evidence

2012-05-28 16:03
A man is led away by British police officers outside the High Court in London after he burst into the chamber where the Leveson Inquiry was hearing evidence from former British prime minister Tony Blair. (Carl Court, AFP)

A man is led away by British police officers outside the High Court in London after he burst into the chamber where the Leveson Inquiry was hearing evidence from former British prime minister Tony Blair. (Carl Court, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - A protester was bundled out of a British press ethics inquiry on Monday as Tony Blair gave evidence, after bursting in and yelling that the former prime minister should be arrested for war crimes.

The man was dragged out by officials after he interrupted proceedings at the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Well-spoken and dressed in a white shirt and light-coloured trousers, the protester appeared not from the public gallery seats but from the corridor behind where judge Brian Leveson retreats to between sessions.

"This man should be arrested for war crimes," the man said as he gripped the judge's bench.

"JP Morgan paid him off for the Iraq War."

Leveson stood up, saying "Excuse me. Excuse me," as one security official restrained the man around the waist and struggled to drag him away.

Blair calm

"The man is a war criminal!" the protester yelled as another two security officials reached him, bundling him to the floor and then dragging him off.

Blair remained calm throughout the incident, with his chin resting on his hand.

"Who is he?" whispered Leveson. The lead counsel to the inquiry, Robert Jay, replied, "How did he get in?"

Leveson apologised to Blair and ordered an immediate investigation into the incident, which lasted no more than 30 seconds.

"I'm sorry for that, Mr Blair and I'd like to find out how this gentleman managed to access the court through what is supposed to be a secure corridor and I'll have an investigation undertaken about that immediately. I apologise," the judge said.

Blair, who is giving evidence under oath, said: "On the record, what he said about Iraq and JP Morgan is completely and totally untrue.

Filmmaker

"I have never had a discussion with them about that or any relationship between them and Iraq."

The former premier added: "Part of the difficulty, actually, with modern politics - and I say this not as a criticism of the media - my experience of the reporting of these events is that you can have a thousand people in a room and someone gets up and shouts or throws something, that's the news.

"The other 999 might as well not have bothered turning up."

The protester identified himself as David Lawley Wakelin - a documentary filmmaker who made The Alternative Iraq Enquiry - as security guards took him away.

Blair continued his evidence once the man had been removed.

Reminiscent of Murdoch incident

Around 20 protesters greeted Blair with an angry reception as he arrived at the court complex, waving banners reading "Troops home", "Bliar" and "Afghanistan out".

Blair sent British troops into both Iraq and Afghanistan during his time in office from 1997 to 2007.

After leaving office, he took a senior advisory role with US investment bank JP Morgan.

The incident was reminiscent of media baron Rupert Murdoch's appearance at a related British parliamentary inquiry into phone hacking at his now-defunct News of the World tabloid in July last year, which was interrupted when a comedian attacked him with a shaving foam pie.

Read more on:    rupert murdoch  |  tony blair  |  uk  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Anglican Church urges people to vote

The Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has called on his congregation to use their right to vote, amid a campaign to spoil ballot papers.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.