Parliament protester comes forward after anti-mandate crowd accuse him of being police plant, Antifa infiltrator or Clarke Gayford

A man involved in the Parliament protest has been forced to defend himself after other anti-mandate protesters went online to accuse him of being an undercover police officer, an Antifa mole or even Clarke Gayford.

Anti-mandate protesters have been doing everything they can to distance themselves from the violent end to the protests last Wednesday.

The protests took a violent turn when police tried to move people on with protesters lighting fires, tearing up pavements and throwing bricks at officers. In response to criticism over their actions, many protest leaders tried to suggest police or antifa moles had actually started the fires, not protesters.

This claim was shot down when video footage emerged of two protesters lighting the fires. But protesters have now turned their attention to a man seen in the video of the two men lighting the fires.

The man can be seen standing near them wearing a blue hoodie, a hat and glasses. He doesn't start the fire but protesters have now claimed he is an undercover police officer who was trying to stir up chaos.

They claim he couldn't be a protester because they believe he was wearing a stab vest under his hoodie and he was too calm when the fire started.

The man has come forward to defend himself in an interview online.

Speaking with the Daily Examiner, Robert Wilson said he is a genuine protester and has no involvement with police or Antifa.

"I am just an average Joe, I have a business and manage a family farm in Southland and I have been up at the protest a couple of times. I stepped in to try and stop people turning it into a violent riot which is sadly what ended up happening," he said.

Wilson, who ran as the Southland candidate for Advance NZ in the 2020 election, said he wasn't wearing a stab vest.

Parliament protester comes forward after anti-mandate crowd accuse him of being police plant, Antifa infiltrator or Clarke Gayford

He suggested people were confused by the seam on his hoodie. Wilson also explained he was near the people who lit the fire because he was trying to get people to stop throwing things at the police. He says he was calm because he runs a venison recovery operation business that involves a lot of risks, so he's learned to stay calm in stressful situations.

Wilson also revealed he has been the victim of keyboard warriors since the video began circling online.

"This really has got way out of hand," he said.

Wilson has been accused of actually being Clarke Gayford, a police plant or an Antifa infiltrator in discussions on anti-mandate forums Newshub has seen.

The controversial Advance NZ Party withdrew its registration with the Electoral Commission last year.

The party ran in the 2020 election under the leadership of former National MP Jami-Lee Ross and then-NZ Public Party leader Billy Te Kahika Jr. The party was notorious for pushing COVID-19 conspiracy theories and misinformation.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's partner Clarke Gayford did not attend the anti-mandate protests at Parliament.

The Prime Minister, National leader and many other politicians have condemned the protesters' behaviour which saw Parliament's playground set on fire. More than 100 people were arrested in connection with Wednesday's riot.