by Stephen Tall on September 26, 2013
On Tuesday, Conservative blogger, publisher and LBC radio presenter Iain Dale hit the headlines when he took on anti-nukes protestor Stuart Holmes, who’d annoyed him by insistently trying to get in shot while ITV’s Daybreak programme interviewed his latest high-profile author, Damian McBride. (See Iain Dale unilaterally disarms anti-nukes protester in front of TV cameras.) Iain immediately blogged his justification, but after the police became involved, he decided to apologise and has today accepted a police caution. He’s now issued a Statement and Apology, recanting his actions:
Following the incident on Brighton seafront on Tuesday morning, I have today voluntarily attended Brighton police station where I accepted a police caution. The police have informed me they now regard the matter as closed. I want to thank them for the fair and courteous way they have dealt with me throughout.
But above all I want to issue this public apology for my behaviour.
I want to apologise and say sorry to Stuart Holmes, who is a passionate campaigner and well known to everyone who attends party conferences and was perfectly entitled to do as he did on Tuesday in trying to get attention for his causes. It was totally out of character for me to react to him in the way I did.
I also want to apologise for the blogpost I wrote after the incident. It was full of absurd bravado and in the heat of the moment I behaved in a frankly idiotic way.
I have embarrassed not only myself but my family and my work colleagues and I apologise to them. … having accepted my guilt, I feel I should make some sort of reparation to Mr Holmes. I will pay for a new placard for him and also make a donation to a charity of his choice.
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.