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‘Appallingly abusive language’ hurled at Iain Duncan Smith branded ‘reasonable’ behaviour by court

Two protesters who shouted “Tory scum” at former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith will not face retrial the Crown Prosecution Service lost a High Court bid to quash their acquittals.

The Chingford & Woodford Green MP was followed as one protester was beating a drum and the other hurled number of expletives his way.

Radical Haslam, from Salford, and Ruth Wood, from Cambridge, were previously acquitted of allegations of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Duncan Smith said he was subjected to a “cacophony of sound”, a banging drum, abuse and insults during a trial held last year.

WATCH NOW: Sir Iain Duncan Smith chats with GB News’ Christopher Hope

The former Leader of the Opposition also told Manchester Magistrates’ Court he felt the term “Tory scum” was an “appallingly abusive piece of language”.

Chief magistrate Judge Paul Goldspring, who acquitted the anti-Tory activists, said using that phrase “both insulting and pejorative”.

He added: “I don’t accept that that wasn’t their intention.”

However, Judge Goldspring accepted that this behaviour was “reasonable” under the Human Rights Act which includes the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

The CPS brought a legal challenge against the decision at the High Court.


Iain Duncan Smith, Member of Parliament leaves after the Conservative conference.


It argued Judge Goldspring’s decision was “unreasonable” and the protesters should face a retrial.

Lord Justice Popplewell and Mr Justice Fordham dismissed the bid on Tuesday.

Mr Justice Fordham said: “The judge’s approach, reasoning and conclusion on the proportionality question involved no error.

“The judge had very well in mind the context and circumstances.”

He added: “Importantly, there was no finding of using ‘threatening words’ or of ‘threatening behaviour’, nor indeed of using abusive words or of abusive behaviour, nor of using insulting behaviour.”

A delegate wears a "Tory Scum" lapel badge on the third day of the annual Conservative Party Conference

A delegate wears a “Tory Scum” lapel badge on the third day of the annual Conservative Party Conference


Duncan Smith separately accused a “pathetic” protester of assault after he was confronted with a traffic cone during the 10-minute ordeal.

The phrase “Tory scum” was seemingly popularised by deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner.

Rayner was accused of labelling Conservative Ministers “a bunch of scum” and described the then-Prime Minister as a “racist, homophobic misogynist”.

Initially asked whether she would retract her comments, she said: “I will apologise when Boris apologises for saying the comments he has made, I will retract that he is scum.”

Sir Iain Duncan Smith appearing on GB NewsSir Iain Duncan Smith appearing on GB News


However, Rayner apologised after a 36-year-old man was sentenced to 15 weeks in prison for sending the deputy Labour leader a threatening email.

She said: “I was angry about where our country is headed and policies that have made life harder for so many people I represent.

“But I would like to unreservedly apologise for the language I used, and I would not use it again.

“I will continue to speak my mind, stand up for Labour values and hold the government to account, but in the future I will be more careful about how I do that and in the language that I choose.”

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