Man arrested after Keir Starmer Labour conference speech crashed by protester
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The start of Sir Keir Starmer's party conference speech was crashed by a protester who sprinkled glitter over the Labour leader.
As Starmer was about to start his address in Liverpool, the man ran onto the stage and shouted: "True democracy is citizen led. Politics needs an update, we demand a people's house, we demand a people's house."
He was led off stage be security, and continued shouting: "We are in crisis, we are in crisis, our whole future." The protester covered Starmer in glitter, however the Labour leader was able to continue with his jacket off.
He said: "If he thinks that bothers me he doesn’t know me. Protest or power, that is why we changed our party conference.”
Merseyside Police confirmed they arrested a 28-year-old from Surrey following the incident during Sir Keir Starmer's speech. The force said: "The man was detained by security at the event and handed over to the police who arrested him on suspicion of S39 assault, breach of the peace and causing public nuisance.
“He has been taken to a police station where he will be questioned by police.”
A group called People Demand Democracy claimed responsibility for the protest. The organisation, described as “friends” by Just Stop Oil, is calling for a “a fair, proportional voting system for Westminster elections”, as well as a “legally-binding national House of Citizens” to be selected by democratic lottery.
In a press release, the group said: “The people of the UK are more disillusioned by the state of our politics than at any time in living memory – look at the polls. After years of battling over Brexit, lockdown parties, abuse claims, crumbling public services and crashing living standards, people are sick to the back teeth of politicians. And we are furious there is no way to make our voices heard. This has got to change.
“We need a democratic alternative that gives the people of the UK a voice to deal with the major challenges of our time: rampant inequality, an escalating climate crisis, political corruption and on. But what do we have instead? A Labour Party offering very little in terms of real change.”
The group included a quote from the protester, who they did not name in its press release, 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.”