Journalists working for ITN were trapped in their offices on Monday afternoon after a group of anti-vaxx and anti-lockdown protesters forced their way into the broadcaster’s London headquarters.
The protesters are understood to have forced their way into the building on Gray’s Inn Road in Camden following an anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown protest in central London.
Images posted on social media by ITN staff showed dozens of people in reception, with police standing between them and security barriers into the main building.
A group of anti-vaccine protesters has entered the ITN Productions building in central London. Police officers are trying to block the gates to protect staff, who are currently locked in. pic.twitter.com/8vOhCQdVT1
— Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) August 23, 2021
Crowds of police were also gathered on the pavement outside to block any more demonstrators forcing their way in.
A video circulated on Twitter showed protesters yelling abuse at veteran news anchor Jon Snow as he made his way in.
A spokeswoman for ITN said many of its journalist had been told to remain in the building for their safety, adding they had been “prevented from being able to go about their newsgathering activities” as a result.
The protesters eventually left the area at around 3.15pm.
The Metropolitan Police said previously: “Officers are responding to a demonstration at a private premises on Gray’s Inn Road, Camden, where people have unlawfully gained access to the building.
“Officers are on scene engaging with building security and removing those who have gained entry.”
ITN’s spokeswoman said: “ITN staff including those working in ITV News, Channel 4 News and 5 News have been advised to either stay in the building or stay away while the situation is being dealt with.
“News organisations have provided a vital source of information during the pandemic.
“The abuse of journalists because of their reporting on coronavirus is a worrying development which ITN has been closely monitoring and actively ensuring staff are aware of precautions to avoid coming to any harm.
“This action resulted in journalists being prevented from being able to go about their newsgathering activities, something that ITN strongly condemns.”
It follows an incident on August 9 when a crowd thought to be made up of anti-vaxx protesters tried to gain access to the BBC’s old headquarters in White City, west London.
The premises is now used to film ITV’s talk show Loose Women.