UK

Peter Tatchell Interrupts Jeremy Corbyn Speech To Demand Action On Syria

Corbyn did NOT look impressed.

10/12/2016 11:08 GMT | Updated 10/12/2016 12:36 GMT

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell interrupted a speech by Jeremy Corbyn to demand action on the Syria conflict on Saturday morning.

The Labour leader’s speech was cut short as Tatchell and a number of other protesters from Syria Solidarity UK took to the stage.

The activists held placards including slogans such as “Sanction Russia”, “Suspend Syria from the UN” and “Support immediate air drops to besieged Syrians”.

An unimpressed Corbyn said to Tatchell: “Peter, could we leave this to the questions please? We’re trying to make a speech here.”

Tatchell told the crowd: “What’s happening in Aleppo is a modern-day Guernica.

“We haven’t heard the leader of the Labour Party speak out enough to demand UK air drops.

“Hundreds of thousands of lives are at risk and we expect the leader of the Labour party to speak out, demand a vote in Parliament on UK air drops.”

Sky News
Peter Tatchell was among protesters who disrupted Jeremy Corbyn's speech

 

He said the demonstrators would “leave in a minute”, to which Corbyn replied there was no need and left the stage accompanied by shadow attorney general Baroness Chakrabarti.

He could then be heard asking “when did we condemn the bombings?”

When the protesters left shortly afterwards, Corbyn said: “Thank you for raising the issue, just to be absolutely clear in response to the point that Peter made, Emily Thornberry on our behalf, during Foreign Office Questions and on any other occasions has made is absolutely clear that we do think that aid should be given to people in Aleppo. We do think the bombing should end. We do think there should be a ceasefire. We do think there should be a political solution.

“We do think the war should end in Syria.”

Tatchell later told a Press Association reporter that the protest was an “act of desperation because we are so frustrated”.

In a statement issued by Syria Solidarity UK, Tatchell said: “On this day, politicians across the world have gathered to give speeches and celebrate the noble sentiments in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Yet in Aleppo, even as these words are being voiced, Syrian and Russian forces are targeting fleeing refugees, children in schools, doctors in hospitals, and paramedics from The White Helmets. In addition 200,000 civilians are being deliberately starved in Aleppo and over a million elsewhere in Free Syria.

“We call on the Labour Party to live up to its progressive rhetoric and actively push for aid drops.”

More follows...