Keir Starmer glitter protester identified as climate campaigner Yaz Ashmawi

Labour conference disrupted by People Demand Democracy stunt

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The man who disrupted Keir Starmer’s Labour Party conference speech with a glitter protest has been identified as Yaz Ashmawi.

He is a 28-year-old from Surrey with connections to climate change and environmental groups. On his website, he describes himself as having an interest in physics and as being “weird”.

The protester was wearing a T-shirt linking him to a group called People Demand Democracy, which has since claimed responsibility for the stunt.

Photos on his website appear to show him in Egypt at various tourists sites including the pyramids as well as at climate change protests in London and Cop26.

People Demand Democracy calls for a “a fair, proportional voting system for Westminster elections”, and for a “legally binding national House of Citizens” to be selected by democratic lottery.

The group issued a quote from the protester – whom they did not name – saying: “The Labour Party has been captured, donors and lobbyists have more control over Keir Starmer than his members.

“A House of Citizens will force politicians to listen to people, it dismantles their relationships with the rich, it would create meaningful change in our economy and fix inequality.

“It would address the climate and ecological emergency and transform our country.

“It would listen to scientists and communities and unearth consensus, not profit off conflict and division.”

Extinction Rebellion revealed Mr Ashmawi is one of its activists but said the glitter-throwing protest “was not an XR action”.

Labour's Keir Starmer covered in glitter by protester during conference speech

Labour's Keir Starmer covered in glitter by protester during conference speech

“We agree with Yaz that true democracy is citizen-led and that our politics needs an update,” an XR representative said.

“The greatest crisis we are facing is the climate and nature emergency and it is clear the political system is unable to cope with this.

“This is why XR is demanding a UK-wide, independently-run citizens' assembly on the climate and nature emergencies.”

Green energy industrialist Dale Vince, who until recently donated money to Just Stop Oil, told the PA news agency there was “a lot to like” in the Labour leader's speech.

Asked if he was confident that Mr Starmer could deliver on the vision and things he would like to see happen, Mr Vince replied: “I do because he also expressed his commitment to the climate crisis.”

Greenpeace UK's head of politics, Rebecca Newsom, also praised the Labour leader's speech, saying his environmental plans are “like a breath of fresh air”.

Updated: October 11, 2023, 7:46 AM