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Three men arrested over attack on gay left-wing journalist Owen Jones

Nick Duffy August 29, 2019
Owen Jones: The UK isn't fighting far-right extremism effectively

Owen Jones speaks at an anti-Boris Johnson election rally in London in 2019. (Andres Pantoja/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Three men have been arrested over the attack on Guardian columnist Owen Jones.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that three people have been arrested over the August 17 incident.

Jones, a prominent left-wing activist, alleged that he was the victim of premeditated assault by “far-right thugs” while he was celebrating his birthday with his friends at a pub.

He said he was directly targeted in the attack, adding: “They marched over, kicked me in the back, threw me on the floor, and then kicked me in the head.”

Owen Jones sported a black eye after the incident
Owen Jones sported a black eye after the incident

Jones’ friends also sustained injuries in the attack.

Three arrested on suspicion of assault over Owen Jones attack

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police confirmed: “At around 02:00hrs on Saturday, 17 August, a man, aged in his 30s, was approached outside The Lexington public house on Pentonville Road, N1.

“The man was assaulted by four male suspects. When the victim’s friends attempted to intervene, they were also assaulted.

“None of those injured required hospital treatment or London Ambulance Service.

“Three men aged 39 [A], 34 [B] and 29 [C] were arrested today, Thursday, 29 August, after they attended a north London police station.

“All three were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

“All three remain in custody.”

Responding to the news, Jones tweeted a fingers-crossed emoji.

He also reshared a day-old tweet that reads: “All the far right activists spamming me claiming I faked an attack against me and my friends who defended me.

“So one of two things will happen. Either me and my friends will be charged with perverting the course of justice, or you’ll all be humiliated. We’ll soon find out!”

Detective Sergeant Scott Barefoot said previously: “This was a completely senseless attack on a man simply enjoying a night out with friends.

“Although there were no serious injuries, the effects of becoming a victim of such an attack can continue when any injuries have healed.”

Guardian writer ‘kicked and punched’

Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme previously, Jones explained: “Me and a group of friends went for a nightcap in a pub with a late license.

“We were there for about 45 minutes, before a group of six of us left. A group of men charged, it was very premeditated and very targeted with military precision directed at me.

“They did a flying kick to my back, dragged me to the ground, and carried on kicking me.

“Without my friends, who I love very much, I have no idea what would have happened, because they had to fend them off.”

Jones said he has been “systematically and deliberately targeted by far-right activists” on previous occasions, recalling instances where he had been “mobbed by far-right activists yelling homophobic abuse.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “I send my solidarity to Owen Jones and his friends… Owen believes it was politically motivated, and we know the far right is on the march in our country.

“An attack on a journalist is an attack on free speech and our fundamental values.”

More: attack, Guardian, Owen Jones

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