BBC Four’s new three-part sitcom Asylum is inspired by controversial figure’s enforced stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He took refuge there in June 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges, which he fears will pave the way for him to be sent to the US to face an espionage trial.
Two months after Assange was given political asylum, Phipps posted: ‘If the met [police] want to regain my trust they should drag Assange out the embassy + shoot him in the back of th head in the middle of traf square.’
Phipps now says: ‘It was something I tweeted over two years ago and it was clearly a joke.’
However, backers of Assange took the issue more seriously, and have complained to the BBC over its ‘shameful’ decision to employ Phipps.