Iain Dale fights activist and dog in front of TV cameras - video
Damien McBride's publisher grapples with protester and a dog named Stuart on Brighton seafront
THE Damien McBride story took a bizarre new twist this morning when the former spin doctor's publisher, political blogger Iain Dale, became involved in a brawl with an anti-nuclear protester on Brighton seafront as his client gave a live interview on ITV.
McBride's tell-all memoir, in which he admits trying to undermine Labour ministers during his time working for Gordon Brown, had already been causing a stir at the Labour conference when things escalated.
Activist Stuart Holmes, described by The Times as "a familiar face outside party conferences, where he regularly appears with banners opposing smoking or nuclear energy", suddenly forced himself into shot behind McBride while he was speaking to ITV's Daybreak.
Dale - he later explained on his blog - felt the protester was undermining the interview and decided to take action.
"I never understand why broadcasters seem to accept without question that someone with a placard or a loud voice should disrupt this sort of interview," Dale wrote. "I did what any self-respecting publisher would do, got out of the car, ran across and pulled him out of the shot.”
What happened next was faithfully recorded by the TV cameras. Dale pulled Holmes away from the interview, the protestor swung a punch at Dale and the pair tumbled to the ground as the man's dog, wearing a mis-spelt placard reading 'No nuke's', also got involved, biting his owner on the behind.
The protester, whose dog is also called Stuart, later told the Daily Mirror: "I was not ruining the interview, I was just in the background. I was not saying anything.
"Then this giant of a guy turned up and grabbed hold of me. I struggled free and in the process we ended up on the floor." ·