A peace activist who confronted Labour’s Angela Rayner said he had wanted to take a stand against the killing of thousands of innocent people in Gaza.

James Harker of Bolton was one of the demonstrators who was removed from a fundraiser attended by the deputy leader of the Labour Party in Stockport.

In a video now viewed millions of times, a number of people call for a ceasefire, with one Palestinian man now identified as Dalloul al-Neder saying he had ‘lost his family in Gaza’.

He is then escorted out the room by a police officer wanting to know why there had not been calls for a ceasefire.

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The incident happened on Thursday, just a day before International Court of Justice (ICJ) demanded that Israel try to contain death and damage in its military offensive. Crucially, the court refused to throw out the case put forward by South Africa.

James said: “As a former Labour member, I'm sickened by the way Angela Rayner and the majority of Labour MPs abstained on a ceasefire vote last year. 

“How can anyone defend the murder of 26,000 people in Gaza?”

“How can I be part of this community in Bolton, with Muslim friends and neighbours, and not take a stand against this anti-Palestine Islamophobia in British politics?"



He said once they got  tickets, priced £35 for a fundraising dinner they thought it would be a rare chance to challenge the Labour leadership publicly on their inaction on Gaza.

He said: "We didn't know that Dalloul, a Palestinian man who has lost five members of his family including his mother in Gaza, was also in the audience. But after hearing Angela Rayner and Jonathan Reynolds talk, we all stood up to challenge them.

"Dalloul spoke so passionately and powerfully about his family, asking Rayner to look at a photo of his murdered mother and calling for a ceasefire.”

In the video, a woman at the back of the hall says: “Women having to use scraps, tents for sanitary towels. Where’s your voice Angela? Call yourself a feminist. I really don’t think so.”

She also adds: “25,000 people dead Angela and rising.”

Police and security staff escorted the demonstrators from the room.

"Though Dalloul was handled roughly by the police, I was allowed to stand right next to Rayner and Reynolds and say everything I wanted.

"Just look at the videos of both Dalloul and my fellow protestor Natasha being treated aggressively, with Natasha shouting that the police are breaking her arm while a room of white Labour supporters look on tutting and do nothing to help her.”

"To me most important thing is the message that Dalloul conveyed so clearly, both in his words and in the way he was treated: that there is a human cost to Labour's disdain for Palestinians. That cost is being paid every day by civilians in Gaza."

Seven people were removed, police said. The fundraising event, at the Village Hotel in Cheadle, was also attended by Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds; MP Andrew Gwynne, who represents Denton and Reddish; and Stockport MP Navendu Mishra.

A 'pre-planned' demonstration was earlier held outside, Greater Manchester Police said.

Videos show Dalloul al-Neder later approaching the stage and shouting during Ms Rayner's speech. The 31-year-old lost his mum, brother, pregnant sister-in-law and two nieces during bombing in December.

Mr al-Neder speaks for the need for a ceasefire and the circumstances surrounding his loved ones' deaths. He appears to show her a picture before being ushered away by a police officer.

Others then begin shouting.

Mr al-Neder, said: "I went there to give a voice to Palestinian people.

"It's not just about my mother, the five members of my family killed, but about the thousands who have been killed in Gaza. I went to ask for a ceasefire.

"The Labour Party must take action and vote for a ceasefire, rather than against one. I went with two friends from Manchester Palestinian Action. The others protesting were not connected to us, but they obviously care passionately, too."

Ms Rayner told him: "Thank you, you've made your point."

Natasha Khan, 33, from Bramhall, said her wrist was hurt as police dealt with her. Another video shows her being led away.

She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service she attended the event with friends to call on Labour to support calls for a ceasefire.

Speaking about the way she claims officers handled her as she was escorted out, she said: "I barely said anything. I wasn't resisting, I was walking out. The only thing I tried to do was pick up my flag."

Miss Khan said she has complained to Greater Manchester Police.

A GMP spokesperson said the force was 'aware of footage circulating online showing GMP officers and event security staff escorting people from [the] event'.

"Police were present in response to a pre-planned demonstration outside the venue," they added. "During the evening, it became apparent that a number of protestors were inside and in attendance at the event.

"Officers assisted venue management in escorting seven people from the premises due to disruptive behaviour and in order to prevent a breach of peace. No arrests were made in connection with this incident."

The Labour Party declined to comment.