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Far right fears after attack on writer near Angel pub

Guardian columnist Owen Jones was assaulted while out celebrating his birthday

23 August, 2019 — By Emily Finch

 Owen Jones was assaulted outside the Lexington pub

AN attack on a newspaper columnist has triggered warnings from the National Union of Journalists about the rise of the far right.

The Guardian’s Owen Jones was assaulted outside the Lexington pub, in Angel, on Friday night while out celebrating his birthday with friends.

Mr Jones said at just after 2am three or four men “left the pub, made a beeline for me, kicked me in the back, threw me on the ground, slamming my head, and kicked me in the skull”. He added that there was “no doubt” the far right was responsible.

Last night (Thursday), NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet told the Tribune the attack on Mr Jones was “intended as a message and a signal to the broader community by those who want to silence reporters and deter investigative work”.

She warned that the far right were “emboldened right now” adding: “Which is why the police and government need to step up their work to investigate what are increasingly organised and coordinated operations of far-right groups.”

She said Mr Jones was right to “speak out” about the incident.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Islington North MP, has said: “An attack on a journalist is an attack on free speech and our fundamental values.”

Lexington manager Chris Smith said: “We are all upset that he has been attacked in such a way and glad to see and hear that he is doing fine.”

No arrests had been made yesterday.


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