David Lammy’s speech disrupted by pro-Gaza and climate protesters

David Lammy’s speech disrupted by pro-Gaza and climate protesters

A speech by shadow foreign secretary David Lammy has been disrupted by lengthy heckling by a group of pro-Palestinian and climate protesters.

The Labour frontbencher had just begun speaking at a conference hosted by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) on Tuesday evening when he was interrupted for around 10 minutes.

A number of demonstrators in the audience spoke up in protest, accusing Mr Lammy of “taking shady money” from the “pro-Israel lobby” and companies they said were harming the environment.

“How many children have to be killed in Israel before you stop arming Israel?” one person shouted.

Mr Lammy replied: “I’m not currently in government, I’m not arming anybody.”

He insisted that Labour has been “calling for a ceasefire for months” in the Israel-Hamas conflict and that “we all look forward to meeting our climate commitments if we get a Labour government”.

After several protesters had spoken out, the politician joked: “It’s sort of a bit like whack-a-mole. Is there anyone else who wants to make their point on this issue?”

Mr Lammy was delivering a keynote speech at the left-leaning think tank’s event on “combatting transnational kleptocracy and illicit finance”.

The groups Youth Demand and Stop Polluting Politics said five of their activists rose from the audience to disrupt the MP’s speech, while others chanted “Free Palestine!” outside the lecture theatre.

They were singling out Mr Lammy’s “financial ties to the Israel lobby amidst the ongoing genocide of Gaza and Labour’s donations from the major polluter Drax”, the campaigners said.

Stop Polluting Politics spokesperson Sam Simons said: “David Lammy is here claiming to tackle financial crime and illicit finance yet his own financial records are unclear or controversial.

“He’s repeatedly taken money from the pro-Israel lobby and then attempted to justify Israel’s war crimes.”