Police investigate '˜gorilla assault' at Boris Johnson rally

Hampshire Constabulary are investigating after a Remain campaigner dressed as a gorilla has been allegedly punched and another man reportedly pushed from a monument during a boisterous rally attended by Boris Johnson.

Friday, 27th May 2016, 7:46 am
Updated Friday, 27th May 2016, 8:58 am

Police are investigating whether the same person could be responsible for the two assaults which happened in Winchester city centre, where the Tory MP spoke to the crowds which featured members of both the Vote Leave and Remain groups.

It is understood that the man in the gorilla suit has told police he was elbowed in the ribs before he was punched.

The second alleged victim says that he was pushed from the historic Buttercross statue while Mr Johnson was giving his speech.

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Prior to Mr Johnson’s arrival, the gorilla was seen dancing around waving a placard saying “I eat five in a bunch Boris!” while waving a large inflatable banana.

Next to him danced another campaigner dressed as a banana with a placard saying: “Vote stay. Let’s not crash the economy.”

A Hampshire police spokesman said: “We received a report of an unknown man being elbowed in the ribs and punched in the face before the offender then screamed at him.

“Another man was pushed from the Buttercross statue and was knocked down six steps or so.

“Both incidents are under investigation and police are investigating whether the same suspect is responsible for both.”

A Vote Leave spokesman said: “Police are investigating this incident. If any incident did happen, it is believed this happened after Boris Johnson had left the area.

“We do not condone any violence.

“A group of Remain campaigners turned up at the event determined to cause disruption.

“When our team left the area, the gorilla was still in good spirits and dancing around and didn’t look like he had been punched.”

Britain Stronger In Europe chief campaign spokesman James McGrory said: “Who punches a teenager dressed as a gorilla in the face at a protest?”