Michael Gove ambushed by anti-vaxxer mob on the streets of Westminster

19 October 2021, 16:42 | Updated: 20 October 2021, 10:20

By Sophie Barnett

Cabinet minister Michael Gove was swarmed by a group of anti-vaxxers during protests in Westminster.

The MP was circled by the group of protesters on Tuesday afternoon in Horseferry Road, following protests near the Home Office.

Footage shared on social media shows the group of demonstrators, who are against the Coronavirus vaccine, attempting to surround the unaccompanied MP.

One protester was able to get in his face before any police officers reached him, but then scores of officers formed a protective ring to get him into a building.

Amid jostling as officers attempted to keep demonstrators back from the entrance, a man appeared to shout "Arrest Michael Gove".

One person who approached Mr Gove asked him how he justified "illegal lockdowns".

The ambush of the 54-year-old Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, comes amid concerns over MPs' security in the wake of the killing of Sir David Amess.

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The Met Police said in a Tweet: "We're aware of a protest in Westminster today which is marching to a number of locations.

"During this protest, a group attempted to surround a Member of Parliament on Horseferry Road. Our officers were immediately on scene where they safely escorted him to a nearby building."

Officers said no arrests have been made, and detectives are reviewing footage circulating online of the incident.

They said police will continue to escort the protest and "will be working hard to disrupt any potential criminal activity".

Downing Street has said the targeting of individuals because of their support for the Covid vaccines was "abhorrent" and should not be tolerated in a democratic society.

After Michael Gove was surrounded by anti-lockdown protestors, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "The approach we have taken, particularly on issues such as vaccination, is to provide clarity and information to provide reassurance to those who have legitimate questions.

"What is completely unacceptable is for those who disagree with our approach to try and target individuals, be they ministers or schools or parents and children.

"That sort of behaviour is abhorrent and will never be tolerated in a democratic society."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also condemned the treatment of Michael Gove by protesters and thanked police for stepping in.

"This is just wrong," Mr Khan said.

"Politicians should be able to go out without being intimidated or fearing for their safety."