Lord Frost reveals people spat at him in street during time as Brexit negotiator
The former chief Brexit negotiator detailed the "shocking" abuse and hostility he faced after accepting the high-profile role
Lord David Frost has detailed the abuse he faced when he became Boris Johnson's chief Brexit negotiator back in July 2019, in wide-ranging interview.
He was plunged into the public eye when he accepted his role as assisting the Prime Minister in actioning Brexit.
He faced the monumental role of negotiating a free trade agreement with the EU during the transition period.
The peer has now said he was subject to an onslaught of spitting from members of the public, who hurled a abuse at him in the street, with some even spitting at the Brexit negotiator.
In an interview with Conservative Home, Lord Frost said: "The degree of aggression, hostility on social media and beyond, has been quite striking to me. I’ve had people spit at me in the street, push me, shout at me on trains, this sort of thing.
“So I’m now a bit edgy about any kind of public interaction. That has been a real surprise and disappointment to me.
“I mean it shows the passions that have been unleashed.”
The peer served as a special adviser to Mr Johnson when he served as Foreign Secretary for Theresa May's Government.
He detailed how exposure into the public eye following the Brexit campaign elicited an array of abuse, which came "suddenly out of the blue".
Lord Frost added: “Most people become ministers and do controversial things in politics after they’ve been an MP.
“For me it all came suddenly out of the blue, and having to get used to the public exposure suddenly, without any kind of prep, has been quite shocking in some ways to me.
“And I think if you’ve had time to get used to the idea it’s one thing. All of a sudden to find it there has been shocking.
“I mean I’m not saying I should be protected from hostile comment on social media.
“Don’t get me wrong. I definitely don’t think that. There are plenty of block and mute tools. I certainly don’t think we need an Online Harms Bill to protect me from comment.”
Lord Frost was appointed Chief Negotiator of Task Force Europe in January 2020.
He assumed his position as Minister of State at the Cabinet Office and a full member of the cabinet in March 2021.
The peer later resigned from his position as Brexit Secretary in December 2021, regarding "concerns about the current direction of travel" regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to Mr Johnson, the peer said he hoped the Prime Minister would "not be tempted" by "coercive measures" to tackle Covid.
It comes after Lord Frost strongly hinted he is eyeing up a run as a Conservative Member of Parliament following weeks of speculation over the former Brexit minister's future plans.