By Sarah Lagan
The Epsom Guardian scooped the first interview with the plumber
accused of plotting to abduct Tony Blair’s youngest son, Leo, which led
to the disbanding of fathers’ rights movement Fathers 4 Justice.
Although Martin Matthews had been offered money for interviews with
the national press, the Guardian claimed he had wanted to speak to his
local paper as he trusted it to represent his side of events.
denied making comments about kidnapping Leo, which fellow F4J members
claimed he made in jest after a Christmas demo. Special Branch officers
told national newspapers they had overheard the talk while
investigating extremist elements of the protest group, leading New
Scotland Yard to investigate whether there was a plot.
insisted he had “not even the slightest idea” where the rumours came
from and told how he believed the story was leaked in an attempt to
split up the group.
He told the Guardian: “I am a comical person
and often make light of my situation. But I categorically deny ever
saying anything about a kidnapping, even in jest. If I had done, I
would be apologising profusely now.
“The most violent thing I’ve proposed is that judges should wear underpants on their head and be given a wedgie.”
Three other F4J members confirmed to the Guardian that there had been no such plotting.
added: “I am of the opinion that the entire saga is a complete
fabrication by someone in power and ask most loudly that evidence
should be made available for public scrutiny.”
Andy Veale said: “The story was an excellent scoop for the Epsom
Guardian. The major factor was that he knew his story would be told
without any spin – he knew we could be trusted not to distort his side
of the events.”
In December, in a F4J stunt, Matthews was fined
and given a conditional discharge after bolting onto Kempton Park
racecourse just before the King George VI race.