Man in court following drag queen story event protest at Tate Britain

A man who was arrested following protests outside the Tate Britain over a drag queen story-telling event for children has appeared in court.

Lance O’Connor, 58, of Plaistow, east London, is accused of using threatening words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He is also accused of the assault by beating of an emergency worker and the obstruction of a custody officer the day after the protest.

O’Connor refused to enter the dock and did not enter pleas to any of the charges at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

The Tate, in Millbank, central London, had been hosting Drag Queen Story Hour UK on February 11, with tales told by Aida H Dee, whom the gallery’s website describes as “the first drag artist in Europe to read stories to children in a nursery”.

People protesting against the event were at the scene, as well as counter-protesters.

O’Connor, who appeared in court without legal representation, denied saying the words he is accused of saying.

He is due to appear at Southwark Crown Court on March 20 for the assault and obstruction charges.

And he is then due to go on trial for the public order offences at City of London Magistrates’ Court on April 17.

O’Connor was granted bail but must not attend the Tate Britain.