Police are investigating after a 78-year-old poppy seller was allegedly punched and kicked after becoming caught up in a pro-Palestinian rally in Edinburgh.
Army veteran Jim Henderson said he had been packing up his stall on Saturday afternoon when the attack happened on Saturday November 4.
Hundreds of demonstrators occupied the concourse at Edinburgh Waverley train station to call for an end to Israeli attacks in Gaza.
The veteran, who said that he had served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles with the Royal Corps of Signals, 32 Signal Regiment, told the Daily Mail that he was punched in the back as he bent down to collect his things from his stall.
He said: “I was getting shoved backwards, in danger of falling, and one of them stood on my foot and split my toe.
“So I thought I had got to get the money out of here. So I went down, and as I bent down someone punched me in the back. And then I got another punch in my side”.
The British Transport Police (BTP) are now investigating the incident.
Poppyscotland said that Mr Henderson is “safe and well” following the incident.
A Poppyscotland spokesperson said: “While we respect the rights of people to protest within the law, the safety and welfare of our volunteers is of paramount importance. One of our volunteers was infringed upon when trying to clear his stall to depart at the usual time of 3.30pm at Waverley Station on Saturday November 4.
“Our volunteer is safe and well, and we thank those that took the time to escort him out of the station.”
Assistant chief constable Sean O’Callaghan said: “Detectives from British Transport Police are investigating a reported assault at Edinburgh Waverley Station on Saturday November 4.
“The incident occurred at approximately 3.30pm during a demonstration at the station. Detectives have been investigating the incident since it was reported to police on November 4. We are working with ScotRail regarding the investigation.”
Downing Street described the reports of the assault as “repulsive”.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “This was a repulsive act. Mr Henderson, like all our veterans, has made huge sacrifices for our country.
“We are confident the police will treat this incident very seriously and use the full force of the law available to them.”
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