A minister has refused to apologise after admitting to using “colourful language” in a terse encounter outside Parliament with a regular Westminster protester.
In a video shared by Steve Bray, an activist known for shouting anti-Brexit and anti-Government slogans during broadcast interviews, Foreign Office minister Nigel Adams appeared to use a four-letter swear word twice during a filmed meeting lasting less than two minutes.
After being approached while walking by the gates surrounding the Houses of Parliament, a tense exchange results in Mr Adams telling Mr Bray: “Why don’t you talk to your MP and f*** off?”
In a statement, Mr Adams did not apologise but instead argued his actions “no doubt reflected” the feelings of other MPs.
During the video shared on Twitter, Mr Adams is captured telling Mr Bray that he was “boring”, adding: “You get on my nerves”.
Mr Bray goes on to accuse the minister of being under the influence of alcohol but the Conservative MP for Selby and Ainsty replied: “I haven’t had a drink yet.”
As Mr Bray and the person behind the camera decide to stop following Mr Adams, the minister appeared to use the f-word a second time, although the recording is unclear.
It is not known when the clash took place but it was first shared on social media by the activist on Wednesday.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office was redirecting inquiries about the incident to Mr Adams’ constituency office.
A spokesperson for the MP said: “The gentleman in the blue top hat who Mr Adams directed some colourful language towards is a well-known political activist known as ‘Stop Brexit Man’.
“He has spent the last few years harassing, following and hurling abuse at elected parliamentarians as well as interrupting journalists, preventing some from doing their job of reporting the news and conducting interviews.
“Mr Adams’ remarks no doubt reflect those of many democratic representatives trying to deliver on the will of the people and others seeking to go about their business who have been harassed or had their work disrupted by this individual and his handful of followers.”