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No-show from Lammy and Starmer after pro-Palestine protest

The politicians were accused of being “too scared to face their voters” after an event at Bernie Grant Arts Centre was cancelled, reports Olivia Opara

Credit: Olivia Opara

Controversy has been sparked after Labour leader Keir Starmer and David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, cancelled a party conference due to be held in Haringey.

The cancellation of the Labour Party’s conference on race at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham on Monday, 5th February followed an impromptu protest by residents against the party’s stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

According to one source, the conference was set to run from 1pm to 3pm, but Starmer and Lammy “were too scared to face their voters”.

The conference was held online without Starmer or Lammy in attendance.

Diane Abbott MP, who was suspended from the party over her letter about race, said on X (formerly Twitter): “Running scared of our own members is a bad look under any circumstances. As this leadership has failed so badly on tackling racism, it ought to be a wake-up call.

“Labour’s key conference on race scaled back at eleventh hour amid security concerns.”

During the protest, one person said: “Bernie would be spinning in his grave knowing that his party is full of genocidal profiteers”.

One of the organisers of the protest and the Tottenham and Haringey Palestine Action Group, Andy Higginbottom, told HCP that Tottenham constituents are “completely against” Lammy’s attitude towards the war in Israel and Palestine: “We will protest – this is the power of conscience, of ordinary people.

“We don’t think that Lammy speaks for us any more and we want to see an immediate ceasefire.”

Since Hamas’ attacks in October, there have been mounting criticisms against the Labour Party’s stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict, including controversial comments made by Lammy on live radio. HCP has spoken to Tottenham residents who say they “refuse to vote” for Lammy in the upcoming elections.

One person attending the protest said: “One of my deepest regrets is canvassing for David Lammy. We do not want him. David Lammy and Keir Starmer are not welcomed here [in Tottenham] and if they come back here again, we’ll stop them.”

Starmer and Lammy were approached for comment.