Protesters target home of Sir Keir Starmer

todayApril 9, 2024 2

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Protesters target home of Sir Keir Starmer

A group of pro-Palestinian activists have held a protest outside the home of Sir Keir Starmer – a move that has been condemned by the prime minister.

The campaigners arrived at the Labour leader’s house to call on him to support an arms embargo on Israel.

The demonstration saw dozens of children’s shoes placed outside his property with a banner nearby that read: “Starmer Stop the Killing” – an apparent reference to Labour “allowing the selling of arms to Israel”.

The Metropolitan Police said three people were arrested under Section 42 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, a power designed to “stop the harassment of a person at their home address”.

Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary James Cleverly criticised the protesters’ decision to target Sir Keir’s home.

Mr Sunak wrote on X: “I don’t care what your politics are, no MP should be harassed at their own home.

“We cannot and will not tolerate this.”

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Mr Cleverly also posted to the social media website: “This is unacceptable. There is no excuse for harassing and intimidating politicians and their families in their homes.”

The protest comes as the government comes under pressure to publish legal advice it has received over whether Israel has breached international law in Gaza after seven aid workers, including three British volunteers, were killed in an airstrike last week – something Israel has said was a “grave mistake”.

More than 33,000 Palestinians, including over 15,000 children, have been killed in Gaza since the 7 October Hamas attacks, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

Israel launched its offensive in the Palestinian territory following the assault by Hamas which killed around 1,200 people and saw about 250 taken hostage.

The UK government does not directly supply Israel with weapons but does grant export licences for British companies to sell arms to the country.

Labour has said arms exports to Israel should be suspended if the advice ministers have received is that international law has been broken, but the government is refusing to make the guidance public, citing confidentiality.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has resisted backing an embargo without seeing the advice first.

An Israeli investigation into the killing of the seven aid workers found that incorrect assumptions, decision-making mistakes and violations of the rules of engagement had resulted in their deaths.

The Israeli military also dismissed two senior officers as a result of the investigation.

During a news conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Lord Cameron, the foreign secretary, said the UK’s position on arms sales to Israel remains “unchanged”.

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“I have now reviewed the most recent advice about the situation in Gaza and Israel’s conduct of their military campaign,” he said.

“The latest assessment leaves our position on export licenses unchanged. This is consistent with the advice that I and other ministers have received.”

However, he added: “We will keep the position under review.”

Written by: Newsroom

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