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Labour shadow minister resigns day after telling doorstepping Times reporter she should have 'smashed his face in' with bat

The Times has condemned a Labour MP’s “outrageous” behaviour after claiming she told its reporter she “should have come down here with a bat and smashed your face in” when he knocked on her door.

Kate Osamor also allegedly threw a bucket of water at Times reporter Will Humphries as he asked for her response to a story on Friday.

She told him to “fuck off” and called the police, accusing him of stalking her, according to the newspaper.

Police were called to her home in North London. A Met Police spokesperson said: “Police were called at approximately 19:45 on Friday, 30 November … after the occupant expressed concerns regarding an individual outside.

“Officers attended and spoke with both parties. No offences were disclosed and no further allegations were made to police.”

Osamor resigned as Shadow International Development Secretary the next day, saying she wanted to “concentrate on supporting my family through the difficult time we have been experiencing”.

The Edmonton MP has come under fire for continuing to employ her son Ishmael as an aide after he pleaded guilty to possession of £2,500 worth of drugs at the 2017 Bestival music festival in Dorset.

Labour claimed she was unaware of her son’s arrest until he was sentenced in October, but several newspapers, including the Times, revealed that she wrote to the judge in the case before sentencing, asking him to be lenient.

Tweeting about the doorstep incident, Humphries said it was “one of the more interesting door knocks I’ve ever done”, adding that he “couldn’t quite believe it when the bucket came out”.

In a leader column published today, the Times said: “In a democracy it is the job of the press to hold the powerful to account on behalf of their fellow citizens.

“And in a free society journalists should be able to do their jobs without being threatened. That includes being able to knock on front doors and seek answers to questions.”

It added: “This was an outrageous way to treat our colleague. Ms Osamor has now rightly resigned from her job as the Shadow International Development Secretary.

“Yet it is telling that her resignation statement included no acknowledgement that she had lied about her knowledge of her son’s drug arrest nor did it contain any word of apology toThe Timesor our reporter.

“Similarly the statement by Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, accepting her resignation included no criticism of her behaviour.

“Across the world, attacks and threats against journalists are on the rise. This is no longer limited to authoritarian countries. In the past year, reporters have been killed in Slovakia and Malta.

“Populist politicians in western countries use increasingly violent language against journalists. President Trump routinely refers to the press as the “enemy of the people”. Ms Osamor — with Mr Corbyn’s approval — did not just throw a bucket of water at our reporter, she threw it at all of us.”

Osamor has yet to offer a public apology for the incident and has since liked tweets criticising the “disgusting” way the press has treated her.

Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, called Osamor’s behaviour was “completely unacceptable”.

“Journalists, like any other workers, need to be able to go about their work without fear of threats or assault,” she said.

“It’s completely unacceptable to respond to legitimate press queries, however unwelcome they may be, with physical or verbal abuse.

“There is a disturbing and febrile international climate at the moment that is facilitating and legitimising the notion that it is open season on journalists – such insidious and dangerous beliefs, particularly when they emanate from public figures in positions of authority, have to be challenged at every turn.”

Press Gazette has contacted Kate Osamor’s office and the Labour Party for comment.

Picture: Reuters/Darren Staples

Comments

4 thoughts on “Labour shadow minister resigns day after telling doorstepping Times reporter she should have 'smashed his face in' with bat”

  1. It’s not her day is it, banned from Wikipedia as well, at least you identified & supplied a photo of the correct MP, which is more than can be said for the “i”.

    More seriously, the left rightly highlighted the death of poor Jo Cox, but then went on shamelessly to try and make political capital out of it citing people “just doing their jobs” so at least Osamor has highlighted their rank hypocrisy, Journalists should be allowed to do their jobs without being assaulted and threatened with baseball bats.

    1. I seem to remember another infamous incident where one Boris Johnson planned with another to beat up a journalist. Did I hear the scream from the ‘independent press’ for him to resign? Did they remonstrate with his Party leader about the uncivil attitude BoJO displayed with this planned recourse to violence? Did the Times have a similar episodic fit at the gall and temerity of this corrupt, adulterous fit-for-nothing MP? I cant say I noticed anything! It is also remarkable BoJo is now a leading ‘journalist’ ??? I for one would willingly take a cricket bat to BoJo and just not to play rounders with him!
      My message to the British Press Dont be so hysterical. Dont be so blatantly biased. Do not even try and compare yourselves as the terrorised victimised abducted raped and murdered press corps of foreign fields. Most of the political MSM are no better than champagne Charlies riding on the coattails of the most corrupt UK politicians this united kingdom has ever seen.

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