Man denies harassing Matt Hancock
A man has pleaded not guilty to harassing former health secretary Matt Hancock.
Geza Tarjanyi, 62, of Leyland in Lancashire, denied causing harassment without violence when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
The charge says he “pursued” Mr Hancock on multiple occasions between January 18 and 25 and was “abusive and verbally aggressive towards him”.
The incidents occurred at different locations including at a security gate and at Westminster Underground station, the court heard.
On Wednesday he told the court none of his actions were aimed at causing harassment, alarm or distress.
A trial was set to be heard at the same court on June 8.
Tarjanyi was conditionally bailed to next appear at a pre-trial hearing on May 12.
After Tarjanyi was charged last month, Mr Hancock’s spokesman said there had been an “unpleasant encounter” that began at Westminster station.
Mr Hancock, 44, was health secretary when the coronavirus pandemic struck and was a key figure in the lockdown restrictions and vaccine rollout that followed.
He resigned after leaked CCTV images showed him kissing an adviser in his office, in breach of his own social distancing guidance.
Mr Hancock later angered colleagues and constituents by flying to the Australian jungle to appear on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! but won some sympathy from TV voters to come third.
Having been stripped of the Conservative whip over the appearance, he said he will not contest his seat at the next election when he will step down.