VIDEO: Ashfield MP Lee Anderson tells campaigner to 'go and brush your teeth' in heated exchange outside parliament

A video circulated on social media showing a heated exchange between Ashfield MP Lee Anderson and an anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray outside parliament.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 5:46 pm

The video of the incident on November 24 attracted hundreds of comments when it appeared online, with many questioning the MP’s conduct - however Mr Anderson claims it was Mr Bray who ‘verbally attacked him’.

The video shows a brief exchange between the pair where Mr Bray questions comments made about him on the MP’s facebook page in a previous exchange, where Mr Anderson posted a video of him saying ‘you’re nothing but a parasite, a malingerer, a scrounger’.

The MP, who was flanked by Metropolitan Police officers during the recording, and 52-year-old campaigner Mr Bray give two very different versions of events.

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The exchange was retweeted thousands of times

Lee Anderson said: "This man verbally attacks me and any other Tory MP every time we leave the House of Commons.

"When MPs leave their place of work and are on a night out with friends, then they should not be verbally attacked.

"The man in question appeared to be drunk but that is no excuse.

"Mr Bray has to accept that Brexit is done and hanging around Parliament verbally abusing Brexit supporting MPs is not acceptable, neither is coming right up to me and pointing his finger in my face.

Lee Anderson, MP for Ashfield

"I am an MP but also a human being and do not take kindly to being verbally attacked and intimidated when out with friends."

Mr Bray completely refutes these claims.

He explains: “I have come across Mr Anderson a number of times in recent months; on May 19 he approached our campaign area and asked for a selfie – only to then tell me to ‘get a job’ on video which he then posted on his MP page.

"I had no real idea who he was at this point, I just knew he looked vaguely familiar, until I saw the video had been posted to his page.

Anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray

"I saw him again on June 17, when I tried to ask him why he thought I didn’t have a job, and he decided to call me a ‘parasite, malingerer and a scrounger’ and again this video was posted online for his followers to ridicule me.

"The strange thing is, I’m a UK tax payer, I’m currently self-employed, therefore my taxes pay his MP wages – yet I’m the one being called a parasite?”

Steve was born in Cardiff and spent his childhood growing up on air force bases in Europe and the UK and joined the Territorial Army himself before becoming a self-employed numismatist, dealing in antique coins in 2003.

He has been campaigning against Brexit since 2017 and can often be found outside Parliament.

"I’m so angry at his childish behaviour, and especially the accusations that I was drunk – I was walking back to my car when I bumped into him” Mr Bray continued.

"He smiled as he walked towards me and I thought our exchange was going to be amicable, only for him to resort to the kind of insults you expect in the playground, not from an £80,000-a-year member of parliament.

"Telling me to brush my teeth?

"I would seriously question the Conservative party’s ‘Respect’ pledge when an elected MP thinks it’s acceptable and professional to say these things.”

The video comes to light just nine days after it was announced that Lee Anderson had raised a formal complaint about Ashfield District Council leader Jason Zadrozny referring to the MP as a ‘f***ing moron’ and on the same day that Chad reader Lee Holland’s opinion piece went to print stating ‘poor behaviour and lack of leadership from local politicians shines a light on the deep problems facing Ashfield’.

Response to the video was mixed, with some commenting that Lee was ‘the best MP in parliament’ and saying his ‘straight-talking is part of his charm’ however others criticised his conduct and referred to the Conservative Party’s ‘Respect’ pledge from 2018 which sets out key promises on MP behaviour.

@stevo_gumbo took to Twitter to defend the MP.

He said: “You all sit here trying to call him out, but what he does for our constituency is awesome and that's before he has helped me whilst trying to get things sorted as an amputee veteran.

"I only got to know of Lee whilst he was up for election and he’s helped me when I’ve asked for help.

"I’ve got nothing but praise for him.”

Kevin Walker, a constituent from Ashfield and an ex-miner said the MP’s behaviour, however, ‘reflects poorly’ on Ashfield.

Mr Walker said: “Once again he is taking part of a conversation to give a better reflection on himself and to spin stories to suit his cause.

“From the outset during his election campaign, when he was unaware of live microphone link, this man has undermined any decency and honesty in local politics. “He slanders individuals and misrepresents any voice of opposition, firstly by unsubstantiated comments and blocking individuals from holding him to account for his actions and divisive rhetoric, no wonder many are turning their backs on local politics.

“Insults are never warranted within the political arena but even more so when they are based on lies and falsehoods.

"When Mr Anderson is called out over his actions and held to account for his political naivety, his first resort is vociferous nasty comments that really reflect poorly on both him and our constituency.

“He, as an individual, is out of his depth and is a poor representative of our area.”

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