Meet the man 'detained at Gatwick for wearing an anti-Brexit badge'

Meet the man 'detained at Gatwick for wearing an anti-Brexit badge'
Copyright Adriana Brinsmead-Stockham
By Pauline Bock
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"The officer said: 'Take that badge off. It's offensive.' I refused."


A man was stopped and detained at customs at London's Gatwick Airport for wearing a badge with an anti-Brexit slogan.

The item had "Bollocks to Brexit" written across it, a popular slogan among supporters of the campaign to keep the UK in the EU.

"Immigration apparently deemed it offensive," Eddie Brinsmead-Stockham, 65, wrote on Facebook as he shared his story.

Stopped at Gatwick Passport control and held for wearing a Bollocks to Brexit badge Immigration apparently deemed it offensive

Publiée par Edward Brinsmead-Stockham sur Lundi 25 mars 2019

He told Euronews the incident happened after he landed at Gatwick on an EasyJet flight from Faro, Portugal.

Brinsmead-Stockham was directed to an officer because the electronic gates were not working, he said.

"The officer told me: 'Take that badge off'," Brinsmead-Stockham recalled. "He said he found it offensive. I refused."

He said that he cited his right to free speech and noted that all three words on the badge could be found in the English dictionary, but that in response the officer took his passport and put him in a locked room.

"He walked away with my passport, I was left for five to 10 minutes in a secured room," he said. Another officer then arrived, gave him his passport back and told him he was free to go. Brinsmead-Stockham said the officer advised him to remove his badge to avoid being abused in the airport, but he refused to do so.

Brinsmead-Stockham has filed a complaint with the Home Office, to which he will receive an answer within 30 days. He added officials told him they "were investigating" the incident.

The officer's reaction was an attempt to "intimidate" him, Brinsmead-Stockham claimed. He added he didn't file the complaint because he wanted the officer to be sacked, but because "this is not acceptable behaviour".

"I was not intimidated, although I was worried, but other people, migrants, might," he said.

Brinsmead-Stockham said he wears the badge because he would like Article 50 to be revoked and Brexit to be cancelled, or at least for a second referendum to be held.

"The referendum was illegal and corrupt. The British government even admitted it was, but because it was advisory, they carried on with it", he said. "To me, it is a travesty."

"I am European first and British second", Brinsmead-Stockham added. "I believe our future is in Europe."

Asked by Euronews for comment, a Home Office spokesperson said:

“We are aware of claims made by a member of the public regarding an incident at Gatwick Airport. We are taking this matter seriously and are investigating.”

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