Gay rights campaigner slapped by UKIP councillor then abused on Twitter
A gay rights campaigner who said he was “slapped across the face” by a UKIP councillor has since received homophobic abuse on Twitter.
David Braniff-Herbert, a campaign organiser for Hope Not Hate, says he was “slapped across the face” by Tom Andrews, a UKIP councillor, in Great Yarmouth on Saturday.
In a video posted online, Andrews is seen telling Braniff-Herbert to “fuck off”, and when the campaigner asks him to leave, he takes a swing at him. He says: “You’re getting me angry now.”
Andrews, in the video, denies having assaulted Braniff-Herbert, before saying he doesn’t “give a shit”. He was since arrested and has accepted a caution for minor assault.
I’ve just been slapped across the face by a UKIP councillor in #GreatYarmouth. Made my statement to the police and am a bit shaken but ok.
— DavidBraniff-Herbert (@the_dbh) April 18, 2015
However, the 30-year-old victim has since been targeted by “threatening” and “violent” abuse on Twitter.
Messages on Twitter included: “I wish you had AIDS”, and Braniff-Herbert said he was considering taking police action.
Speaking to PinkNews, Braniff-Herbert said: “I’m receiving an overwhelming amount of homophobic abuse at the moment, and I think these comments typify what UKIP supporters really think about the LGBT community. I think what they are trying to do is intimate me and make me feel fear, and to stop me from campaigning. I think it is shocking that they would use these tactics to stop people from positively organising in our community.
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“The phone hasn’t stop buzzing with mentions on Twitter, and I’m hearing some of the worst stuff that you can hear as an LGBT person – some of it is calling me a ‘faggot’, some of it is hoping that I get AIDS, other parts of it are remarking on the tone of my voice.
“I’ve also had some transphobia – I got told that I must be a female-to-male trans person because clearly I’ve got no balls. It is unbelievable amount of hate.”
Others called him a “faggot”, and some suggested that he deserved the violence.
Andrews, a 72-year-old UKIP borough councillor for Caister South defected from the Tories to UKIP.
PinkNews has approached UKIP for comment.