Police called to campaign trail dispute involving independent Councillor Keith 'Beefy' Roberts and Labour supporters

Police were called after a dispute between Labour campaigners and a group including South Tyneside Councillor Keith ‘Beefy’ Roberts this week.

Thursday, 11th July 2019, 16:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th July 2019, 16:32 pm
Keith 'Beefy' Roberts is widely known as a Newcastle United Football Club superfan. Pictured here in 2011 when NUFC produced the "Beefy" t-shirt.

Officers were called after an altercation between Labour campaigners and a group including South Tyneside Councillor Keith ‘Beefy’ Roberts this week.

Labour party members were campaigning with Police Crime Commissioner candidate Kim McGuinness in Jarrow on Tuesday, July 9 when they were approached by a group including Coun Keith ‘Beefy’ Roberts.

Coun Keith Roberts is an independent councillor on South Tyneside Council

The two groups had a disagreement and it is alleged that a man was pushed by another male in the melee.

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Northumbria Police confirmed that officers were called to defuse the matter, and took witness statements.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: "At 6.06pm on Tuesday (July 9), police received a report of a disturbance on Edinburgh Road, Jarrow.

"It was reported that a man had been pushed by another male following a disagreement. Nobody was injured.

Labour supporters were campaigning with the party's Police and Crime Commissioner candidate Kim McGuinness

"Enquiries are ongoing."

One witness who did not wish to be named described the behaviour as ‘disgusting’.A Labour North spokesperson said, “Labour is running an energetic and positive campaign and we have been right across the region talking to thousands of people on the doorstep and meeting with many community groups. Democracy only works if candidates are able to talk to the voters and it is concerning for the democratic process to see people trying to intimidate political activists.“We condemn the actions of those involved and the matter has been reported to the police.”

Coun Roberts is widely known as ‘Beefy’ due to his topless football celebrations at St James Park complete with the words ‘NUFC’ tattooed across his stomach.

When contacted by the Gazette he said: “I was there. As far as I’m concerned, nothing happened.”