Three men have admitted being involved in an attack on Guardian columnist Owen Jones but denied it was motivated by homophobia.
The journalist was celebrating his birthday at the Lexington pub in Islington, north London, when he was targeted on 17 August.
James Healy, 40, Charlie Ambrose, 30, and Liam Tracey, 34, admitted a charge of affray at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
Healey also admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He will now face a trial of issue in front of a judge to decide whether the attack was motivated by Mr Jones's sexuality.
Mr Jones, who is gay and campaigns for LGBT rights, suffered cuts and swelling to his back, head and bruises all down his body in the assault.
At a previous hearing, Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court heard Mr Jones was "karate-kicked" in the back.