Matt Hancock feared he would be shoved down a Tube escalator by an anti-vaccine protester who accused him of murdering millions of people during the pandemic, a court heard.
Geza Tarjanyi is accused of harassing the former health secretary on two separate occasions near Parliament on Jan 19 and 24.
Mr Tarjanyi is alleged to have followed the MP for West Suffolk into a Tube station while shouting “ridiculous conspiracy theories” at him.
Mr Hancock appeared in person at Westminster magistrates’ court on Thursday for the trial against the 62-year-old, who denies causing harassment without violence.
Giving evidence, the MP said that during the first incident he was “accosted” by Mr Tarjanyi close to an anti-vaccination protest near Parliament before being shoulder-barged and asked why he had “killed so many people”.
‘I felt physically intimidated’
“As a public figure, I can’t recall a time when I felt as intimidated as this,” he added.
A few days later, Mr Tarjanyi followed and harangued Mr Hancock again, pursuing him into Westminster Underground station and onto a train where he repeatedly accused the MP of murdering people, it was alleged.
Mr Hancock told the court: “I felt physically intimidated and felt like I needed to get to a place of safety, he was being completely unreasonable.
“I didn’t know what further unreasonable actions he would take.”
Mr Hancock went on: “It made me feel unsafe going about my place of work, it made me feel frustrated that instead of engaging in a normal debate, someone was trying to intimidate me, I thought that was unacceptable.”
‘I was extremely worried’
Describing the second incident, which took place at around 8am, Mr Hancock said he had just finished having breakfast with Rishi Sunak in Downing Street when he was accosted by Mr Tarjanyi.
Mr Hancock said he recognised the defendant and felt “more intimidated” because he was on his own and tried to get Transport for London (TfL) staff to intervene.
Mr Hancock alleged that as he walked away from Mr Tarjanyi and entered Westminster Tube station he was “shoved” towards the top of an escalator.
“The man pushed into me, and I felt myself being pushed towards the top of the escalator,” he said.
“Obviously I was extremely worried at this time. If I had lost my balance at that point, I would have tumbled down the escalator. It’s a long escalator, I could see a long escalator moving away from me, and I was being pushed from behind.
“I had to work to maintain my balance and stop myself falling down the escalator.”
The former health secretary said he feared Mr Tarjanyi was willing to commit a crime, alleging the defendant told him he “wanted to go to court”.
He added: “One of the reasons I hadn’t reported the incident on Jan 19 was because I don’t want these people with these untrue beliefs to get further publicity from harassing me.”
Mr Tarjanyi then got onto the Jubilee line train with Mr Hancock and accused him of murdering “millions of people” before they were separated at Bond Street station.
He said Mr Tarjanyi was heard saying: “I’ve been arrested 16 times.”
Mr Hancock told the court: “This made me alarmed. If you have been to court before, you would be prepared to commit a crime in order to get there. That obviously made me feel unsafe.”
Parveen Mansoor, defending, said Mr Tarjanyi denies any physical contact and believes it was Mr Hancock who “barged into him”.
She added: “He denies assaulting him in any way shape or form.”
The trial has been adjourned until July 4.