A fathers’ rights activist who recently camped out the roof of MP Chris Grayling’s family home was banned from protesting at the Tory party conference yesterday, New Fathers 4 Justice have claimed.
But police said Martin Matthews, of Middlemead Road, Bookham, had only been “advised” about his conduct and was not banned from the ICC in Birmingham.
Mr Matthews climbed on top of the justice secretary’s house in Ashtead in August and is due to stand trial over criminal damage to roof tiles in January.
Another protester, Christopher Tompson, 38, was arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace while protesting at the conference on Sunday.
A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said Mr Matthews was advised regarding his conduct under the Public Order Act.
She said: “As a result of the warning, he left the area. He has not been banned from the vicinity or the conference.”
But New Fathers 4 Justice claimed in a statement that police have banned Mr Matthews from “being anywhere near” the party conference at the ICC.
The group said: “All he was doing was using a megaphone aimed at delegates. Once again the Conservative party are trying to silence the voice of protest.
“What has Chris Grayling got to hide?”
In a YouTube video, a policeman is seen approaching Mr Matthews who had just chanted “you can stick your new world order up your arse” though a megaphone.
Using the megaphone Mr Matthews said: “We have got one third of children in this country growing up in a home without a dad.
“Four million out of 13 million. Social engineering, not really child protection, social engineering.
“Then we have got councils coming along with their short-term traffic warden social workers – who have just got off the boat from South Africa, Nigeria, places like that – and they are removing children.”
After climbing onto Mr Grayling’s home in August, Mr Matthews pleaded not guilty to damaging his roof and is set to stand trial at Redhill Magistrates’ Court in January.
West Midlands Police Superintendent Tim Godwin said Christopher Tompson, 38, of Providence Street, Audenshaw, Manchester, was arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace in Brindley Place at around 1pm while demonstrating with Greater Manchester Parents for Protest.
Superintendent Godwin said: “He was later charged with the offence and appeared before Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 29 September.”
In their statement New Fathers 4 Justice said: “We use direct action and protests to highlight the injustice fathers’ face in the present family court system.
“We’d like nothing more than to be simply with our families, and happy in the knowledge our children would grow up with equal rights, but until anything is done – this is the only way anyone takes any notice of our message.”