'Litany of menace': Activists target British MPs over Gaza war stance

Dozens of politicians have been subjected to intimidation, counter-extremism dossier claims

Police face off with pro-Palestinian protesters outside Parliament in central London. Getty Images
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British pro-Palestinian extremists have targeted 38 MPs and local councillors in a “litany of menace”, it has been reported.

The politicians have faced intimidation and harassment outside their UK constituency offices or during meetings, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

A dossier compiled by a counter-extremism analyst, who asked to remain anonymous, found that since the start of this year 38 elected representatives have experienced disruptive protests, verbal abuse and intimidation connected to the Israel-Gaza war.

Much of the criticism has focused on Labour members, with the party criticised for refusing to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Chi Onwurah, the shadow science minister, required a police presence at her political surgery on Friday after threatening behaviour by people outside.

One protester labelled her "a coward” on X, formerly Twitter, for needing a police escort.

Protest outside UK Parliament calls for Gaza ceasefire - in pictures

Ms Onwurah told demonstrators the officers arrived “because your protest was becoming aggressive, banging on the library walls and hurling abuse, then running around the building, attacking my staff member’s car and jumping in front of traffic”.

A day earlier, a Haringey council meeting in north London was interrupted by protesters claiming the local authority was “complicit, you’re committing genocide” in Gaza.

Last month, Labour leader Keir Starmer and David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, were forced to leave a meeting in London after activists held up placards stating “Lammy supports racist killings” and “Genocidal Starmer not welcome In Tottenham”.

Hundreds protest outside the UK parliament demanding a ceasefire - video

Hundreds protest outside the UK parliament demanding a ceasefire

Hundreds protest outside the UK parliament demanding a ceasefire

John Woodcock, the government’s independent adviser on political violence, condemned the “litany of menace that highlighted a clear pattern of intimidation of elected representatives by pro-Palestine activists”.

Britain last week finalised a new definition of extremism, which is now categorised as “the promotion or advancement of an ideology based on violence, hatred or intolerance”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has condemned the “shocking increase in extremist disruption” since the Hamas-led attacks on October 7 and Israel’s ensuing Gaza campaign.

Updated: March 17, 2024, 8:56 PM