Trial begins for man charged with assaulting former Tory leader | UK | News

The trial of a man accused of assaulting former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has begun at Manchester Magistrates Court. Elliot Bovill, 31 is accused of common assault against MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, Sir Iain Duncan Smith.

It is alleged he assaulted the former Conservative Party leader during the Tory Party conference in Manchester on October 4, 2021. Sir Iain claimed he had been struck across the head with a traffic cone during his visit whilst on a walk with his wife Betsy. He told the court how he feared for his wife and her friend when he had a traffic cone “slammed” on his head by a “threatening” group of protestors.

The MP told the district judge the cone was “smacked down” on his head and he told the group “you are pathetic”. 

Sir Iain continued: “I have seen a lot of protests in the course of my time as a politician.

“I’m normally not overly concerned. People normally make their points, but not in a threatening way. This, I felt, was threatening, it’s as simple as that. I think they set out to be threatening.

“It was threatening, it was abusive and my wife and her friend felt that particularly.”

At the time of the incident he told The Spectator: “For half a second I was about to go up and punch them, I went forward and they all backed off – I nearly knocked them out, lost my rag.

“I can’t tell you very much other than they just followed us, used abusive language, attacked us and used a cone.”

The trial is taking place at Manchester Magistrates Court today.

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Sir Iain Duncan Smith served as the leader of the Conservative Party from 2001 to 2003.

He has been the MP for Chingford and Woodford Green since 1992 and served in David Cameron’s cabinet as Work and Pensions Secretary.

Sir Iain also served as chairman for Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign in the 2019 General Election.

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