Campaigning fathers are charged over protest on Islington MP Corbyn’s roof

Bobby Smith and Martin Matthews New FF

Published: 12 August, 2016

TWO fathers’ rights campaigners have been charged with trespassing after staging a 10-hour protest on the roof of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s house.

New Fathers for Justice activists Martin Matthews, 49, and Bobby Smith, 33, clambered onto the roof of the Islington North MP’s house in Finsbury Park at around 9am on Friday.

Mr Corbyn, who has condemned the action, and his wife Laura Alvarez were campaigning in Wales when told of the protest.

Police cordoned off the road all day while firefighters and ambulance staff were on standby at the scene as the two men on the roof held up banners in protest against a family courts system they say has unfairly stopped them from seeing their children.

Speaking to the Tribune over the phone from Mr Corbyn’s rooftop, Mr Smith said: “I tried to speak to Jeremy Corbyn in March but he wouldn’t talk to me so I decided to come up here and grab his attention. I have pursued my case through legal means and I’ve been through the whole procedure and this is the only option I’ve got left.”

Mr Corbyn said he did not know the details of campaigners’ cases and declined to comment on them. He added: “The gentleman [Mr Smith] has been to my house before and he should pursue his cause by legal means. I’m thankful to the police for trying to get them to come down from the roof and leave my street alone.”