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Former newspaper editor harassed by far-right mob in town centre

08 Jul 2024 6 minute read
Rob Lloyd (L) was publicly harassed in Llanelli by far-right activists included UKIP’s Stan Robinson (R)

Martin Shipton

A former newspaper editor was publicly harassed and falsely accused by far-right activists of stealing money from a campaign fighting fund as he walked with his wife through the centre of their home town.

Rob Lloyd, who used to edit the Llanelli Star and the Carmarthen Journal, and his wife Carol were surrounded by members of UKIP and intimidated as they attended the Ymlaen Llanelli 80s Festival.

Among the hostile group were the party’s local general election candidate Stan Robinson, who lost his deposit after winning less than 1.5% of the vote, and Dan Morgan, a convicted fraudster with whom he broadcasts a far-right video blog called the Voice of Wales.

In a message posted on Facebook, Mr Lloyd wrote that he and his wife were having a conversation with the Mayor of Llanelli, Cllr John Prosser, when they were interrupted by a man called Danny Roscoe, a controversial video blogger closely linked to Tommy Robinson, together with Mr Robinson, Mr Morgan and several other of their associates.

‘Fringes’

Mr Lloyd stated: “There were other people on the fringes, many chipping in with the standard Voice of Wales chant of ‘Where’s the money, Rob?’ At least four video and mobile phone cameras were pointed in my face.

“This is not the first time that members of Voice of Wales have targeted me with harassment in the street. They have a long-standing mission to harass me on social media and in person following the Stradey Park Hotel asylum seeker saga. I have complained about their behaviour previously, but Dyfed-Powys Force has been unwilling or unable to take action.

“My wife and I were enjoying a happy day meeting friends in our home town. That quickly turned into a nightmare as these people harassed me in front of other members of the public against the busy backdrop of the festival. It was possibly the busiest day in Llanelli town centre for many a year.

“I have no wish to enter into a dialogue with VoW members or their associates. They seem obsessed with a GoFundMe account which was set up to fund potential legal actions arising from the Stradey Park Hotel dispute [involving a plan, now abandoned, to house asylum seekers in the hotel, which would have closed with significant job losses].

“It is Mr Robinson’s view that the money raised should go to people who have been taken to court over alleged cases of criminal damage and trespass at the hotel. Voice of Wales seem obsessed with alleging that some sort of shady dealing surrounds the GoFundMe. Nothing improper has happened with the GoFundMe and the police are welcome to investigate the use of the fund, should they so desire.

“The mob attack was threatening. In fact, my first words to Danny Roscoe were, ‘What makes you think this is a good idea, harassing someone in the street?’ Mr Roscoe followed the VoW set script of, “Where’s the money, Rob?” My wife Carol asked Mr Roscoe for his press card as he claimed to be a journalist. He replied, ‘I don’t need one. I am a citizen journalist.’ Mr Robinson then joined the ‘conversation’, with the same chant.

“I asked Mr Robinson to identify himself and give his full name as I had, by that stage, started filming the incident. At one stage, he declared, ‘I am your worst nightmare’.

“My wife and I proceeded to walk off. Mr Roscoe followed, continuing to shove his camera and microphone in our faces. We made it clear that we did not wish to engage in any conversation. He continued to follow us in an aggressive manner and clipped my wife’s heels as we manoeuvred through the busy crowd in the precinct.

“Their actions were intimidating, threatening and left us both shaken and fearing for our safety. The incident was also distressing as it occurred in full view of a large crowd. We both have a reputation in this town which we call home and it is plain that the UKIP/VoW bandwagon wishes to damage my reputation in the eyes of the people of Llanelli.

“Some 20 minutes later, when we were walking home, Mr Robinson was in a large black jeep vehicle driving up the road where we live. He [had] a loud-hailer, continuing to shout accusations, eg ‘Rob Lloyd, where’s the money’ and ‘You’re disgusting’. The jeep was followed by another car containing Voice of Wales supporters and clearly labelled with UKIP, Vote Stan stickers. We both found the presence of the vehicles alarming and threatening. Plainly, they were following us home. This left us in fear of another ‘mob’ video attack outside our home.

“These incidents have left us both shaken and fearful for our safety. It is worth noting that during the Stradey Park saga, police had to, on one night, step up hourly patrols outside our house after officers overheard threatening remarks being made at the entrance to the hotel. We are both very concerned as there has been a recent incident where Carmarthenshire county councillor Gary Jones’ house was attacked in Llangennech.

“Against that backdrop, we have been left fearful of an attack on our house. We are also concerned about our own personal safety when leaving the house. What should have been a happy occasion, strolling around my home town, was turned into a disturbing and frightening experience”.

Johnny Rose, moderator of the Furnace Action Committee’s Facebook page, posted a message stating: “There have recently been posts and videos etc on social media speculating about one of our members. Hopefully this statement by Furnace Action Committee will put this matter to rest.”

Fighting fund

The statement says: “We have retained a fighting fund of more than £10,000 should any further legal action be required to save our hotel and the jobs and economic boost it provides for the area. As we have previously explained, that money sits securely in a bank account. The funds have three signatories – three very reputable local people who watch over the money.

”To clarify, the GoFundMe page, which provided the bulk of the fighting fund, was set up by the committee’s spokesman Robert Lloyd, purely because he had the technical expertise needed to kick-start the page.

Robert’s direct involvement with the GoFundMe ceased at a very early stage. He has not handled any cash. Any decisions about the funds raised are for the membership of the Furnace Action Committee.”


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Rob
Rob
5 days ago

Typical fascist behaviour, this harassment surely isn’t legal?

Adrian
Adrian
5 days ago
Reply to  Rob

It’s by no means exclusive to the right. Radicals of all political and ideological stripes do this sort of thing all the time.

Matt Evans
Matt Evans
5 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Sadly, it’s only illegal if the police decide to do something about it.

Verde
Verde
5 days ago
Reply to  Rob

It is, but highly immoral. It’s a practice that isn’t illegal as it’s expect that no one would often go so low to even attempt such behaviour. It’s pathetic.

Annibendod
Annibendod
5 days ago

Disgraceful mob. I hope they meet their match but they tend to pick on people they think they can intimidate. Total cowards.

Pascal Lafargue
Pascal Lafargue
5 days ago

That’s a good example why genuine journalism is crucial in a democracy.

Golliant
Golliant
5 days ago

People like this who harrass others in gangs are not even vapour. Dan Morgan even used his kids as a sheild against Rob Lloyd, getting physical with him going ‘don’t film my kids’, he USED them like he does everybody else. Because why approach these people they don’t expect to get answers from anyway with children. If they were there for his children to have a good time, you do just that and not go raking them in confrontations, ‘look what daddy’s going to do’, ‘daddy’s gonna be mean to that man’. Notice he didn’t get physical with the other… Read more »

Last edited 5 days ago by Golliant
Golliant
Golliant
5 days ago

Notice Desperate Dan didn’t get physical with his team of four cameras simultaneously filming? Because he knew they were probably not on and even if so, he knew the footage would never be used. A cheap and juvenile overly-used intimidation tactic. Just look at how concerned about the public attention he was trying to draw, which goes to show you that if he was so concerned about the kids being filmed, you’d think he’d be keeping a very low profile in the town centre, surrounded with residents and shoppers, all with cameras and ready to film an altercation at any… Read more »

Last edited 5 days ago by Golliant

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