Steve Bray (activist)
Steve Bray outside Parliament
|Known for||Protesting against Brexit|
Steve Bray (born 26 June 1969) is an activist from Port Talbot in southern Wales, who makes daily protests against Brexit in College Green, Westminster. He is known as Mr. Stop Brexit. He is often heard during TV broadcasts from College Green at Westminster shouting anti-Brexit statements or seen quietly walking into the background of live TV interviews, wearing a colourful blue outfit and carrying placards with a simple 'Stop Brexit' or anti-government message.
In March 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, formally initiating Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, following the result of the 2016 advisory referendum on the UK's EU membership. Bray was incensed. He left Port Talbot and travelled to London so he could protest.
British TV channel ITV call him a notable figure; for the length of his protest, and for the technique he uses to disrupt multi-camera interviews. Labour MP Ben Bradshaw has called him an international celebrity. Bray won PMP Magazine's Person of the Year award for 2018.
Bray wears a European Blue jacket, with a blue top-hat with a yellow hat-band. He has a cape made up from a Union Jack sewn into a EU flag. He carries two double sided, burgundy coloured, A2 sized, placards with the messages "Stop the BREXIT mess", We want a people's vote", "Things have changed it is time to reassess"
Camera teams from all news sources interview politicians on College Green, outside the Houses of Parliament as the Palace provides an iconic background. This is public open space. When Bray spots a team arriving he walks over, and as the live interview begins he quietly walks into the background of the shot displaying his posters. As the camera moves so does he, remaining in the frame. He walks off before the team can ask the police to remove him. With a two camera interview he knows which camera is live and moves from one to the other as needed. In an incident on 14 November 2018 with Georgina Wright and Annita McVeigh the camera hopping lasted over two minutes.
When the camera team chooses to film against the door of the Palace, Bray uses another tactic. He stands close by and shouts 'Stop Brexit' over a loudhailer. This ruins the sound track. Jacob Rees-Mogg, a right-wing Brexiteer in the governing Conservative Party attempted to do such an interview on the same day, 14 November 2018, the audience heard "Save Britain, Shame on You".
The BBC tried to circumvent Bray's disruption by building a five-metre-high (16 ft) platform on which to conduct interviews. Bray was not detered and raised the EU flag on a 5-metre-high pole, which could be seen waving behind the presenter.
Every evening at around 6pm, he performs another ritual. He approaches the Palace and shouts 'Stop Brexit it's not a done deal' and goes. He is back at 11 the following morning and states he will continue to do so until a People's Vote (referendum) is called.
In January 2019, Bray moved into a luxury apartment opposite the Westminster home of Conservative Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg. In order to rent the property in Westminster’s Cowley Street for two months, he raised more than £12,000 from the public. In response to the news of his new neighbour, Rees-Mogg said: "Should he wish to borrow a cup of sugar, he would be very welcome."
SODEM was a one-man political movement founded by Steve Bray in September 2017. It is an acronym for Stand of Defiance European Movement, and appropriately the colours are yellow on blue. A previous action was to replace the European flag on its flagpole outside the Neath Port Talbot council offices on 19 August 2018.
- Grew, Tony (27 January 2019). "Mr Stop Brexit moves to Jacob Rees-Mogg's street protest". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- "Anti-Brexit protester from Port Talbot repeatedly crashing TV interviews says he won't stop 'unless Brexit is stopped'". ITV News. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
- Wheeler, Brian (20 November 2017). "Who are the Stop Brexit campaigners?". BBC News. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
- Notelovitz, Shay; Shearlaw, Maeve; Guardian, Source: (28 November 2018). "A day with Mr Stop Brexit: crashing TV interviews and fighting Ukip – video". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
- "Our "Person of the year" 2018". PMP Magazine - PoliticsMeansPolitics.com. 31 December 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
- Reid, Alistair; Goofman, Rick. "This 'stop Brexit' protester stole the show during a serious TV interview". Independent.ie. Press Association. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
- Morris, James (27 November 2018). "Stop Brexit man crashes BBC broadcast with EU flag despite 5m platform". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
- Read, Jonathon. "WATCH: BBC fails with new platform to block out anti-Brexit campaigners". The New European. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
- Clements, Laura (22 August 2018). "The one-man campaign against Brexit that's being run from Port Talbot". walesonline. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
- SODEM website
- "Anti-Brexit protester repeatedly crashes live BBC news interviews – video". The Guardian. 14 November 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2018.