Gay rights campaigner slapped by UKIP councillor then abused on Twitter

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A gay rights campaigner who said he was “slapped across the face” by a UKIP councillor has since received homophobic abuse on Twitter.

David Braniff-Herbert, a campaign organiser for Hope Not Hate, says he was “slapped across the face” by Tom Andrews, a UKIP councillor, in Great Yarmouth on Saturday.

In a video posted online, Andrews is seen telling Braniff-Herbert to “fuck off”, and when the campaigner asks him to leave, he takes a swing at him. He says: “You’re getting me angry now.”

Andrews, in the video, denies having assaulted Braniff-Herbert, before saying he doesn’t “give a shit”. He was since arrested and has accepted a caution for minor assault.

However, the 30-year-old victim has since been targeted by “threatening” and “violent” abuse on Twitter.

Messages on Twitter included: “I wish you had AIDS”, and Braniff-Herbert said he was considering taking police action.

Speaking to PinkNews, Braniff-Herbert said: “I’m receiving an overwhelming amount of homophobic abuse at the moment, and I think these comments typify what UKIP supporters really think about the LGBT community. I think what they are trying to do is intimate me and make me feel fear, and to stop me from campaigning. I think it is shocking that they would use these tactics to stop people from positively organising in our community.

“The phone hasn’t stop buzzing with mentions on Twitter, and I’m hearing some of the worst stuff that you can hear as an LGBT person – some of it is calling me a ‘faggot’, some of it is hoping that I get AIDS, other parts of it are remarking on the tone of my voice.

“I’ve also had some transphobia – I got told that I must be a female-to-male trans person because clearly I’ve got no balls. It is unbelievable amount of hate.”

Others called him a “faggot”, and some suggested that he deserved the violence.

Andrews, a 72-year-old UKIP borough councillor for Caister South defected from the Tories to UKIP.

PinkNews has approached UKIP for comment.