Nottingham Labour MP's campaign launch gatecrashed by Palestine protestors as 'doors blocked'

A Nottingham Labour MP's campaign launch was gate-crashed by Palestine protestors who reportedly blocked people from coming in and out of a venue. Around 20 activists showed up outside Bulwell URC Church on Friday (May 31), where Alex Norris was giving a speech.

Footage posted on social media shows the incumbent Nottingham North MP leave the building with the help of police, while protestors shout "shame on you". Labour councillors who were present said they were initially prevented from leaving the church, with other councillors and party members were stopped from attending in the first place.

Sarita-Marie Rehman-Wall, a councillor for Bulwell Forest who had been canvassing with Mr Norris earlier that day, said the behaviour of some protestors was "disgraceful". "When we got there one protestor was outside and we had an open conversation," she recalled.

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Cllr Rehman-Wall said the atmosphere got "nasty" when more arrived. "They wouldn't move, they were just standing there," she said.

"They were blocking the exit, it was absolutely disgraceful. I appreciate what's happening in Palestine is disgraceful and we need to find a solution, however when you are maliciously blocking entrances and exits.

"They have not done themselves any favours. People were panicking inside, they were scared. What they did was diabolical."

Labour has faced fierce criticism from many supporters for not taking a harder line on Israel’s retaliatory invasion of Gaza — following Hamas’ October 7 attacks — and the huge Palestinian death toll. Andy Cooper, councillor for Kimberley at Broxtowe Borough Council, also attended the launch event.

Alex Norris (centre front) pictured canvassing in Bulwell earlier in the day on Friday
Alex Norris (centre front) pictured canvassing in Bulwell earlier in the day on Friday -Credit:Alex Norris

"Alex made the speech inside, he was expecting more people to attend but they couldn't get in. It wasn't the launch that we anticipated," he said.

"After Alex's speech they weren't letting us out, at that time the police were called. We went out through a corridor that police made for us and dispersed."

Cllr Cooper said protestors had also attended a similar event for Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood. "It wasn't a surprise, it was to be expected. They have the right to protest," he said.

Alex Norris and Nottinghamshire Police have been contacted for comment.