Steve Bray has become famous (infamous in some circles) for standing outside the Houses of Parliament shouting “stop Brexit” every day during the height of the debate around the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. In his “stop Brexit”-branded top hat and with an anti-Tory banner in hand, he has accosted many a politician, many of whom appear to have grown tired of his persistence.
But now it is Mr Bray, 53, who has grown tired and who claims to be seeking “political asylum”.
The campaigner’s primary point of protest has moved on from Brexit in recent months to the Conservative Party more generally.
His T-shirts now read “Stop the Tories: We Demand Better”, and his banners range from “Cost of Tory Criss” to “We Despise Tory Lies”.
Many of his messages on Twitter are also ending with the words “Fascist Kingdom” and “Tories Out”, making it clear he believes the country to be under the grip of an authoritarian regime.
He yesterday wrote: “Brexiteers have brought shame to the UK, shame on all of us!”
Mr Bray added: “One day we will be those refugees seeking sanctuary.
“I’m already eyeing up political asylum possibilities.”
One social media user responded: “Please not over here, we love it quiet and peaceful.”
The campaigner joked: “Where are you Kevin, I can already tell I’m going love being your neighbour!”
The specific prompter of such a longing for political asylum is not quite clear, though some of Mr Bray’s recent comments point to a possible trigger.
In June, Mr Bray, described by Bloomberg as “Britain’s noisiest protester”, was warned he could be moved away from his normal spot or even fined for using a megaphone due to a new law on decibel levels.
He insisted this was “fascism through the back door”.
The campaigner also said he would refuse to pay any fines, and that he would now work to shout twice as loud.
Mr Bray also this week described as “shocking” the arrest of anti-monarchy campaigners following the death of Elizabeth II, for example for holding a sign reading “Not my King”, in reference to new monarch Charles III.
He wrote in a post on Twitter: “Shocking to see people being arrested for their beliefs, their freedom of speech and expression!
“Whether we agree with someone’s protest is neither here or there…
“The democratic right to protest belongs to us all, should we ever need to use it!”
Mr Bray did not signal where, if he was to move, he would be travelling to.