John Woodcock MP Attacked For Confronting 'Racist Crap' On Train

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The Labour MP who confronted two men for allegedly making racist comments on a train has said the incident proves the worth of CCTV.

John Woodcock, the MP for Barrow, was travelling from Lancaster to his Barrow constituency in Cumbria last Thursday when he said he was attacked.

"They were rowdy and boisterous – the kind of thing you often see on public transport late at night. Unfortunately their comments got increasingly unacceptable and derogatory and when they turned racist I thought 'enough is enough' and I got up to talk to them," he told BBC News on Tuesday morning.

"Fortunately I only ended up with a bag in my face for my troubles; it could have been a whole lot worse."

"I was conscious I had to try and take the heat out of the situation and stand my ground without it flowing over into violence. It was touch and go for a while but I was able to do that."

Woodcock Tweeted soon after the incident, that he was making a complaint about a man "talking racist crap on train".


John Woodcock
Sigh. At station in Barrow making complaint about passenger talking racist crap on train, who wanted to fight me when told him to shut up.

He told the North West Evening Mail that one of the men repeatedly swore at him while jabbing his finger in his face. “I told him he shouldn’t do that, that he’d regret that."

Woodcock, a shadow transport minister, said that the incident proved the worth of CCTV.

"The fact that there was CCTV on the train and on the platforms is aiding the police in their investigations and allowed them to put out a photo yesterday, and should hopefully help bring people to book," he said.

"I think that shows that the people who argue it should be harder to put CCTV in public places are frankly out of touch with reality. It was not the camera that was threatening my civil liberties. It will hopefully help to get a conviction."

British Transport Police said on Tuesday that a 29-year-old man from Barrow handed himself in. They said he was subsequently reported for summons in relation to a public order offence and an allegation of assault in relation to incident on-board a train travelling between Lancaster and Barrow-in-Furness on Thursday, 23 February.