Israel arms embargo activists protest outside Keir Starmer's London home

Rishi Sunak says no MP should be harassed at their own home after incident at Labour leader's property

Members of Youth Demand protest outside the London home of Labour leader Keir Starmer on Tuesday. PA
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A group of pro-Palestine protesters staged a demonstration outside Labour leader Keir Starmer’s home in London on Tuesday afternoon.

Demonstrators from the Youth Demand group hung a banner outside Mr Starmer’s house that read: “Starmer stop the killing” surrounded by red hand prints.

The group called for a two-way arms embargo on Israel, saying weapons made in the UK were being “used to cause genocide” in a video posted to their X account. Three people were arrested after the demonstration.

Protesters then laid rows of children’s shoes outside the Labour leader’s door, a tactic used at several pro-Palestine rallies to signify children killed in Gaza.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, whose own home in North Yorkshire was the target of climate protesters in 2023, said such incidents would not be tolerated.

“I don’t care what your politics are, no MP should be harassed at their own home,” he said in a post on X. “We cannot and will not tolerate this.”

Home Secretary James Cleverly also posted to X, saying: “This is unacceptable. There is no excuse for harassing and intimidating politicians and their families in their homes.”

On Monday, Youth Demand covered Labour’s central London headquarters with red paint, resulting in the arrest of 11 people suspected of causing criminal damage.

Labour headquarters in London painted red over Gaza – video

Labour headquarters in London painted red over Gaza

Labour headquarters in London painted red over Gaza

The UK government has been under increasing pressure to publish legal advice it has received in relation to whether Israel is breaching international humanitarian law in Gaza, after three British aid workers were killed by Israeli air strikes in the enclave.

Mr Starmer has called for the government to publish the advice, with the party’s shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy, stating arms sales should be halted if there has been a “serious breach” of international law.

“Politicians and their families should be able to go about their daily lives without feeling threatened or intimidated,” Met deputy assistant commissioner Ade Adelekan said.

“It’s completely unacceptable for a protest to take place in the vicinity of a politician’s home. There are plenty of appropriate places to protest in London. Anyone who chooses to target a private home can expect to be dealt with by officers.”

Police made the three arrests under Section 42 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, Mr Adelekan said.

“This power stops the harassment of a person at their home address if an officer suspects it is causing alarm or distress to the occupant,” he added.

Updated: April 10, 2024, 12:28 PM