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Yellow vest protester Goddard freed without charge after Corbyn protest

The pro-Brexit campaigner blocking the Labour leader’s car after an event at the Lowry Theatre in Salford.

James Goddard (Victoria Jones/PA)
James Goddard (Victoria Jones/PA)

By Eleanor Barlow and Luke Powell, PA

Self-styled yellow vest protester James Goddard has been released with no further action taken after he was arrested outside a Jeremy Corbyn rally.

Footage shared to Goddard’s YouTube channel showed him blocking the Labour leader’s car and using a megaphone to shout “Corbyn is a traitor” at the vehicle outside the Lowry Theatre in Salford on Monday evening.

The pro-Brexit campaigner could also be heard chanting “We love you Boris, we do”, while other members of the crowd continued to call Mr Corbyn a “traitor”.

At the end of the video, after blocking the car for a little over five minutes, Goddard was seen being handcuffed by police.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed that officers arrested a 30-year-old man on suspicion of breach of the peace shortly before 8pm on Monday.

On Tuesday, a force spokesman said the man had been released with no further action taken.

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James Goddard is held by police in Salford (Simon Archer/Twitter/PA)

Simon Archer, 32, who witnessed Mr Goddard’s arrest, said the Brexit campaigner was pleading with officers not to send him to prison.

“I didn’t see what caused them to act but they restrained him against a lamppost, which is where he began to plead with the police not to send him to prison as he would be killed,” Mr Archer told the PA news agency.

“He claimed he hadn’t broken the law.”

Small business owner Mr Archer, who lives in south Manchester, said Goddard was accompanied by around 10 others and had been waiting for cars to leave the garage where the rally took place.

“As soon as they did they surrounded the cars and shouted ‘traitor, traitor’ (and) ‘we won, get over it’ at counter protesters,” he said.

In July, Goddard was banned from going near Parliament for five years after hurling abuse at Remain-supporting MP Anna Soubry.

He was handed an eight-week jail sentence, suspended for a year, after he was filmed calling the former Conservative a Nazi and a traitor in December and January.

Earlier in June, Goddard was fined £300 after being convicted of assaulting a photojournalist at a demo in Manchester.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “Shortly before 8pm on Monday 2 September 2019, police arrested a 30-year-old man on suspicion of breach of the peace.

“The arrest was made following the conclusion of an event being held at the Lowry Theatre, Salford.

“The man has since been released with no further action taken.”

PA

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