Iain Dale to be questioned by police over alleged assault on nuclear protester

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Iain Dale, the openly gay presenter on LBC, will be questioned by police this evening in connection with an alleged assault on Brighton seafront, involving a nuclear protester, reports suggest.

Mr Dale, also a political blogger, who runs the firm that published the book Power Trip, by Damian McBride, Gordon Brown’s former spin doctor, is shown in the video allegedly assaulting the protester who interrupted an interview with Mr McBride this morning.

Speaking to PinkNews, Mr Dale said he thought it was likely that the police would want to speak to him over the incident.

A statement from Sussex Police said: “Sussex Police is aware of an assault on Brighton seafront this morning… Detectives are gathering evidence and as part of this have interviewed the protester involved.”

Detective Sergeant Stephen French said: “We are seeking to interview a man in connection with this incident. No one has been arrested at this time.”

The political editor of Sky News, Adam Boulton, tweeted to say that police were waiting for Mr Dale to finish his broadcast, in order for him to “help with enquiries”. Dale’s programme was due to finish at 20:00.

In a post on his blog, Mr Dale gave his account of what happened. “Damian McBride was doing a live interview on Daybreak on the Brighton seafront,” he wrote.

“I was waiting in my car to drive him to do his next interview with Nick Ferrari on LBC when I noticed that a protester was holding a placard behind Damian which was filling a lot of the screen and totally distracting from the interview.

“I assumed someone from Daybreak would intervene to stop him, but no one did. So I did what any self respecting publisher would do, got out of the car, ran across, got him in an armlock and pulled him out of the shot.

“He started resisting and we ended up in an unseemly tumble on the ground.

“I was conscious of the photographers and other cameramen who were present filming the whole thing, but I was determined this idiot shouldn’t disrupt what was an important interview for my author.”

He said that there was “no real violence” during the incident and that “the only injury was when the man’s dog bit him on the bum”.

Dale in March took over the prestigious Drivetime show on radio station LBC 97.3 following the departure of previous host James Whale.

The host, who is in a civil partnership, previously hosted an evening programme with the station, the most listened to speech radio broadcaster in London.

In February, he claimed that several MPs who will vote against equal marriage are having secret gay affairs.