Sunak makes U-turn on pro-Palestine Armistice protest after threat to hold Met chief accountable - live

Rishi Sunak has said the Metropolitan Police Commssioner committed to keep the force’s “posture under constant review” before the pro-Palestinian demonstration planned on Armistice Day after a meeting in Downing Street this afternoon.

It comes after the Prime Minister said he would hold the Metropolitan Police Commissioner “accountable” for his decision to allow the march to take place.

“It’s welcome that the police have confirmed that the march will be away from the Cenotaph and they will ensure that the timings do not conflict with any Remembrance events,” the Mr Sunak said in a statement. “There remains the risk of those who seek to divide society using this weekend as a platform to do so.”

He added: “The Commissioner has committed to keep the Met Police’s posture under constant review based on the latest intelligence about the nature of the protests.”

Sir Mark Rowley resisted pressure heaped on the force to try to block the protest in London on Saturday as he said: “The laws created by Parliament are clear. There is no absolute power to ban protest.”

Key Points

  • Sunak U-turns on pro-Palestine Armistice protest

  • Rishi Sunak to hold Met Police Commissioner ‘accountable’ for giving Saturday protest greenlight

  • Met says pro-Palestine Armistice Day demo to go ahead as ‘law gives no absolute power’ for ban

  • Suella Braverman accused of ‘trying to get fired’ with ‘dangerous’ Palestine protest remarks

Braverman defies No 10’s order to take out inflammatory element of police attack article

12:25 , Barney Davis

No 10 has made clear that it did not approve Suella Braverman’s incendiary op-ed which accused the Metropolitan Police of bias in allowing Saturday’s pro-Palestine march to go ahead.

The home secretary has sparked a furious outcry after she accused Scotland Yard of “playing favourites” over the Gaza rally set to take place – claimed police bias had stopped right-wing protests but permitted “pro-Palestinian mobs” to demonstrate.

Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman said Downing Street did not approve the final text of Ms Braverman’s op-ed for The Times.

Adam Forrest reports:

Camilla opens Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey

12:15 , Barney Davis

Queen Camilla was pictured dressed in a black cape and hat during a visit to the Field of Remembrance, in its 95th year.

 (PA)
(PA)

She placed a memorial cross during the solemn ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London, ahead of Armistice Day on Saturday.

Queen Camilla also met veterans of the armed forces.

 (PA)
(PA)

The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey will be officially opened and accessible to the public from 1pm.

From Thursday 9th November until Sunday 19th November the Field is scheduled to be open from 10am to 4pm.

The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey has been organised by The Poppy Factory since 1928.

Number 10 distances itself from Suella Braverman article

12:05 , Barney Davis

Suella Braverman’s job hangs in the balance after the PM’s spokesperson confirmed her Times op-ed was “not cleared by No 10”.

Downing Street took the unusual step in confirming earlier Sky and Telegraph reports in a shock move as it usually doesn’t comment on process during internal rifts within the cabinet.

The spokesperson would not add anything more when pushed by reporters.

He would not say whether No 10 did not see the article before publication or whether No 10 requested changes which were ignored.

Asked if the PM had confidence in Braverman, the spokesperson said yes.

They added No 10 was still trying to establish exactly what happened and to expect a potential further “update”.

‘Stop arming Israel’ Protesters scale Scottish Parliament to hang Palestinian flag

11:57 , Barney Davis

Five protesters have climbed up the awning outside the main entrance and are displaying the flag and a Stop Arming Israel banner.

The protest comes ahead of First Minister’s Questions at noon.

The group of pro-Palestinian protesters who have climbed the Scottish Parliament said they are not part of an organisation.

As reporters shouted questions, one member of the group, who all have their faces covered, said: “We’re here to put pressure on the Scottish Government to take action against arms exports to Israel.”

A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “Protestors have gained access to the roof and unfurled a banner. Police Scotland are in attendance. There is no disruption to parliament business and public access to the building is unaffected.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We’re aware of the protest and officers are in attendance.”

Supreme Court to rule on Rwanda policy next week

11:49 , Adam Forrest

The Supreme Court is to give its decision on whether Rishi Sunak and Suella Braverman’s plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda are lawful next week.

Last month, the Home Office challenged a Court of Appeal ruling from June that the multimillion-pound deal – which would see asylum seekers put on one-way flights to the east African nation – was unlawful.

Five justices at the UK’s highest court are now to give their decision on the challenge on Wednesday, November 15.

The Illegal Migration Act brought into law the government’s policy of sending some asylum seekers to Rwanda. However, the policy announced in April 2022 has been held up in the courts, with no deportation flights having taken place.

Labour accuse Rishi Sunak of being ‘spineless’ over Suella Braverman

11:41 , Barney Davis

The Labour Party have launched a house of mirrors graphic of the Prime Minister urging a “spineless” Rishi Sunak to sack Suella Braverman following the publication of her op-ed in The Times.

Sky News and The Telegraph are both reporting that No 10 were sent the article and requested changes, only for these changes to be ignored.

It came as top Tories joined Labour and the Lib Dems in calling for Braverman to be sacked.

One Tory MP told The Independent it was time for Mr Sunak to get rid of Ms Braverman.

“It’s not a reasonable or sensible thing for her say. It’s not compatible with high office. She is sticking two fingers up at No 10. This daily cycle of spouting nonsense isn’t helping.”

Senior Tories call on Rishi Sunak to sack ‘liability’ Suella Braverman

11:32 , Adam Forrest

One senior Tory, a former cabinet minister, told The Independent that Rishi Sunak must sack his Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

“She must go,” they said – arguing it was unacceptable to “publicly undermine the police in this way”.

Another Tory MP told The Independent it was time for Mr Sunak to get rid of Ms Braverman.

“It’s not a reasonable or sensible thing for her say. It’s not compatible with high office. She is sticking two fingers up at No 10. This daily cycle of spouting nonsense isn’t helping.”

Another ex-Tory minister called the remarks on police bias were “appalling”, and said there was “huge upset” among most Conservative MPs about her remarks on homelessness being a “lifestyle choice” and proposal to restrict tents.

Another former Conservative minister said Ms Braverman is now a “liability” for the Tories and said Mr Sunak would be damaged if he “lets her continue peddling inflated rhetoric”.

Another former Tory minister told The Independent: “She should be fired”. And yet another ex-cabinet minister: “She is obviously goading Sunak into sacking her now.”

Labour MP complains of being ‘overwhelmed’ by emails

11:30 , Barney Davis

Jon Cryer has posted on X responding to a campaign to get a constituent out of Gaza saying his office has been left unable to help other constituents after being flooded with emails.

The Labour MP for Leyton & Wanstead wrote: “Many people have been in touch about a constituent (I won’t name him for his own privacy) who is in Gaza. I understand a social media campaign is underway to contact my office about this. We are dealing with the issue.

“In people trying to help this constituent, and emailing in huge numbers it means my team are overwhelmed by emails about him and are also now unable to help other constituents. I appreciate you contacting me about him and we will do our very best to help him.”

Number 10 ‘suggested changes’ to Suella Braverman article which were ignored - Sky reports

11:18 , Barney Davis

Sky News deputy political editor Sam Coates has claimed that Number 10 did not “fully sign off” Suella Braverman’s divisive op-ed that has sparked calls for her sacking from Labour, Lib Dems and the SNP.

Sources told the broadcaster Number 10 were sent the article which accused police of favouring protesters and suggested changes - but “these were not then carried out”.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman wrote an opinion piece for The Times (Justin Tallis/PA) (PA Wire)
Home Secretary Suella Braverman wrote an opinion piece for The Times (Justin Tallis/PA) (PA Wire)

Suella branded ‘most divisive and useless’ Home Secretary ever by march co-organiser

11:12 , Tom Watling

Organisers of Saturday’s armistice day protest said the march will go ahead with a clear ceasefire message despite Suella Braverman’s “inflammatory language”.

Mustafa Al-Dabbagh, from the Muslim Association of Britain, told The Independent: “Suella Braverman has shown herself to be the most divisive and useless Home Secretary this country has ever seen.

“Her attempt to paint our protests in a negative light using such inflammatory language has emboldened the far-right and done nothing but sow discord within British society.

“Rather than govern as Home Secretary she is just using it to campaign to become the next Tory leader by focusing on a very small racist and xenophobic base.

“Suella Braverman is the most racist Home Secretary we have had, she’s not a builder of a safe country but an arsonist, who seeks to divide communities and pit them against each other.

“We will march on Saturday with a clear message. We need a ceasefire now to stop the indiscriminate bombing and killing of over 10,000 innocent civilians.”

 (EPA)
(EPA)

Suella Braverman has ‘lost the support of the House’ Labour says

11:02 , Barney Davis

Speaking in the Commons, former minister Sir Chris Bryant said: “The fact that only two Conservative MPs have turned up today to defend the Home Secretary I think shows that she has already lost the support of the House.”

He added: “The minister is absolutely right when he says there is no place for hate on our streets, isn’t the truth of the matter though there is no hate in the Home Office either, and the problem with the present Home Secretary is that she’s the person inciting hatred in this country.”

Defending Ms Braverman, policing minister Chris Philp said: “Politicians on both sides are perfectly entitled to hold policing to account, but of course this Government, and as the Prime Minister said, accepts the principle, indeed embraces the principle, of operational independence.”

Labour MP for Nottingham South Lilian Greenwood also criticised Ms Braverman, stating that her comments on policing were “deeply irresponsible”.

She said: “The Home Secretary’s incendiary and inflammatory comments ahead of what is going to be a really sensitive and complex policing operation for the met this weekend, is making their job even harder.”

Braverman comments ‘would not be tolerated’ if she was white, claims ex-police chief

11:01 , Adam Forrest

Dal Babu, the former chief superintendent of the Metropolitan Police, said Suella Braverman’s remarks “would not be tolerated if they were said by a white woman”.

Mr Babu told Sky News: “Some of the things Suella Braverman is saying, as a brown woman, would not be tolerated if they were said by a white man, a white woman – some of the thing she has said about Pakistani men, some of the things she’s said about hate marches. I’m flabbergasted by some of the comments she’s saying.”

Led by Donkeys project video adressing Suella’s ‘hate march’ comments

10:48 , Barney Davis

Led By Donkeys explain why the protest march on Saturday won’t be a “hate march” with a video monologue from Palestinian and British writer Ahmed Masoud projected onto the Houses of Parliament.

The SNP questions whether Suella Braverman should be sacked

10:24 , Barney Davis

Speaking from the party’s front bench, Chris Stephens told the Commons: “A lot of discussion has focused on the Palestinian ceasefire march when the police are more concerned with counter protests by the far right … and football hooligans. Will the Government also be looking to cancel the 10 Premier League games scheduled this weekend.

“Will it look to cancel the City of London’s Lord Mayor’s Parade which overlaps the two-minute silence?”

“The ex-Met assistant commissioner said this morning that this is the end of operational independence in policing … saying it’s on the verge of behaving unconstitutionally.

“Does this not mean and represent that the Home Secretary is unfit for office and should be sacked today?”

Home Office minister Chris Philp said: “I don’t agree with the suggestion that operational independence is in any way compromised … politicians of both sides … are entitled to comment on matters of public policy and matters of public order.”

Sunak should sack ‘out of control’ Braverman, says Labour

10:21 , Adam Forrest

A Labour frontbencher has become the first to explicitly call on Rishi Sunak to sack Suella Braverman over her claim the Met police were bias and “playing favourites” in favour of pro-Palestine protesters.

Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds, asked on Sky News whether the PM should fire the home secretary, said: “Yes, of course. Unless he has signed off on his views, unless they are his views as well.”

He added: “If you have a home secretary that is so out of control and so divisive, so inflammatory … that’s not somebody who should be home secretary.”

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Yvette Cooper calls for Suella Braverman to be sacked after comments on Met police bias

10:14 , Barney Davis

Yvette Cooper suggested that Suella Braverman should be sacked for her comments accusing the Metropolitan Police of “playing favourites” by allowing a pro-Palestine march on Armistice Day to go ahead.

Asking an urgent question in the House of Commons on Thursday (9 November), the shadow home secretary said: “Does this Government still believe in the operation independence of the police, and how can it do so while this Home Secretary is in post?”

It comes after the Home Secretary wrote in the Times claiming Islamists were using Saturday’s march to express “primacy” and compared it to extremist rallies in Northern Ireland with links to terrorism.

Ms Cooper said: “Well, where is the home secretary?” She also mocked stand-in Chris Philip for “refusing to repeat her words”.

Mr Philip said Ms Braverman was with a close family member having a hospital operation.

Yvette Cooper calls for Suella Braverman to be sacked after Met Police bias comments

Braverman ‘dangerous’ and ‘deliberately inflaming tensions’, says Labour

09:55 , Adam Forrest

Labour’s Yvette Cooper said Suella Braverman’s claim of bias was an attempt to “rip up the operational independence of police” and was “attacking their impartiality in the crudest and most partisan of ways”.

Ms Cooper said the home secretary was “deliberately undermining respect for the police”, was “deliberately seeking to create division” and was “deliberately inflaming community tensions in the most dangerous way”.

She added: “She is encouraging extremists on all sides. It is highly irresponsible and dangerous and no other home secretary would ever have done this.”

Yvette Cooper asks is Rishi Sunak endorsing Suella Braverman’s comments or just too weak to sack her?

09:53 , Barney Davis

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: “We know what she is doing. Claiming homelessness is a lifestyle choice or picking a fight with police to get headlines.

“The job of the home secretary is to keep the public safe not to run an endless Tory election campaign.”

She asks junior Home Office minister Chris Philip standing in for Braverman if Rishi Sunak agrees with the article.

She said: “Either the PM has endorsed this or he is too weak to sack her.

“If he cannot get a grip on her conduct then it means he’s given up on serious government and he and the home secretary should both let someone else do the job.”

 (Sky News)
(Sky News)

Kristallnacht, synagogue attacks and the future of Israel: antisemitism ‘takes a foothold’ again in Germany

09:45 , Tom Watling

Comparisons with the 1930s are lazy, says John Kampfner. But on the anniversary of the brutal Nazi pogrom Kristallnacht, and in the shadow of the ongoing Israel-Gaza war, he travels to Berlin to talk to a Holocaust survivor’s son who is shocked by the rising tide of violent antisemitism in Germany and across Europe.

Kristallnacht, synagogue attacks and Israel: antisemitism’s ‘foothold’ in Germany

Junior Tory minister insists police ‘independent’ as he answers for Braverman

09:45 , Adam Forrest

Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has asked the home secretary Suella Braverman to explain her thoughts on the operational independence of the police in parliament after her shock comments on bias.

But Ms Braverman has failed to show up in the Commons for the urgent question.

Answering for her, the junior Home Office minister Chris Philip said: “It is also right that the police are operationally independent of government.

That is a fundamental principle of British policing.”Ms Cooper said: “Well, where is the home secretary?” She also mocked Mr Philip for “refusing to repeat her words”.

Lib Dem leader calls for Sunak to sack Braverman over police comments

09:22 , Tom Watling

Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey called for the prime minister to sack Suella Braverman over her claims the police are biased towards protest groups.

He said: “Rishi Sunak must finally act with integrity by sacking his out-of-control Home Secretary.

“Suella Braverman is now putting police officers in harm's way ahead of far-right protesters flocking to the capital this weekend.

“The Home Secretary's irresponsible words and foul actions have significantly increased the likelihood of unrest this weekend and the risk of violence towards officers.

“Ministers are spending their time fanning the flames of division, instead of bringing communities together. It's shameful.”

Sir Ed Davey called for Braverman to be sacked for her police comments (PA)
Sir Ed Davey called for Braverman to be sacked for her police comments (PA)

Gaza hit by Israeli airstrikes - latest photos

09:10 , Tom Watling

More photos have shown the latest round of Israel’s continual bombing of the Gaza Strip.

A high-rise building is obscured by smoke in Gaza following airstrikes (AP)
A high-rise building is obscured by smoke in Gaza following airstrikes (AP)
Smoke is seen rising above the Gaza cityscape following Israeli airstrikes (AP)
Smoke is seen rising above the Gaza cityscape following Israeli airstrikes (AP)

Look out, Rishi – Suella is coming for your job

09:00 , Tom Watling

The King’s Speech had law and order at its heart… so where is the home secretary, asks Andrew Grice. With her standing eroded by ill-judged comments about homelessness being a ‘lifestyle choice’, Suella Braverman is no longer useful to Rishi Sunak – and out for herself.

Look out, Rishi – Suella is coming for your job

Are pro-Palestinian protests likely to cause trouble on Remembrance Sunday?

08:44 , Tom Watling

Rishi Sunak and ministers have spoken out about the demonstrations taking place in London over the war in Gaza this weekend. Sean O’Grady asks how likely it is that things could get out of hand – and what powers the police have to prevent disorder when events like this take place.

Will pro-Palestinian protests cause trouble on Remembrance Sunday?

Braverman ally called on Tory MPs to speak out

08:35 , Tom Watling

Suella Braverman’s closest political ally John Hayes MP – head of the Tories’ Common Sense Group – had called on fellow right-wingers to speak out against the police decision to allow the pro-Palestine march.

In a WhatsApp message sent to Tory MPs, seen by The Independent, Hayes wrote: “So sad to see protests being allowed on the remembrance weekend. Wholly inappropriate.... and we should speak for the law abiding, patriotic majority by saying so.”

Braverman claim of police bias ‘crosses a line’, says ex-police chief

08:30 , Tom Watling

Sir Tom Winsor, former HM chief inspector of constabulary, has said Suella Braverman’s comments claiming police bias are “unusual”, “unprecedented” and “crosses the line”.

Sir Tom told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “It’s unusual. It’s unprecedented. It’s contrary to the spirit of the ancient constitutional settlement with the police, I think it’s contrary to the letter of that constitutional settlement. And it is highly regrettable that it has been made.

“These political objections can be made by many, many people, but a home secretary of all people is not the person to do this … By applying pressure to the commissioner of the Met in this way I think that crosses the line.”

People protest during a National March for Palestine in London on 28 October (EPA)
People protest during a National March for Palestine in London on 28 October (EPA)

Suella Braverman is ‘out of control’, says Labour

08:22 , Tom Watling

Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: “Suella Braverman is out of control”, adding: “No other home secretary of any party would ever do this.”

She said the home secretary’s article “is a highly irresponsible, dangerous attempt to undermine respect for police at a sensitive time, to rip up operational independence & to inflame community tensions”.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said Ms Braverman’s latest words were “inaccurate, inflammatory and irresponsible”.

And Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said Ms Braverman was bidding to be the next Tory leader by appealing to the right.

“The home secretary’s desire to stoke divisions and ramp up tensions in this way is irresponsible and dangerous.”

Organiser of pro-Palestine march leaves Labour

08:21 , Tom Watling

The secretary of one of the groups behind Saturday’s march, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, was working for Labour until this week, The Sun reported.

Ben Soffa had been the party’s head of digital organising, but he said he was now “off to explore new opportunities”.

A Labour source said: “We’re grateful to Ben for all his work for the party and wish him all the best for the future.”

Tory chairman Greg Hands accused Sir Keir Starmer of “shocking hypocrisy”, adding that Soffa “was sacked only when found out!”

Braverman accuses Met of ‘playing favourites’ by allowing Gaza march

08:04 , Adam Forrest

Home secretary Suella Braverman has accused the Metropolitan Police of “playing favourites” by allowing Saturday’s pro-Palestine march to go ahead.

Labour immediately accused Ms Braverman of being “out of control” after she claimed police bias had stopped right-wing protests but permitted “pro-Palestine mobs” to demonstrated.

In an op-ed for The Times she also claimed Islamists were using Saturday’s demo to express “primacy” and compared it to extremist rallies in Northern Ireland with links to terrorism.

Senior Conservatives called her comments “unhinged” and “ignorant”, while Tory transport Mark Harper said he disagreed with his cabinet colleague and insisted that police forces were not bias.

‘Unhinged’ Braverman condemned as she accuses Met of bias over pro-Palestine march

‘We are not Russia’: Former senior Met officer says right to protest must be protected against Braverman

07:59 , Tom Watling

A former chief superintendent of the Metropolitan Police has described the home secretary Suella Braverman’s assault as “unprecedented”.

The former senior Met officer, Dal Babu, said protecting the right to protest was vital to democracy.

Speaking to Sky News’ Kay Burley, he added: “We are not Russia. We are not China. We are not Iran. We need to ensure that we facilitate demonstrations that are lawful and deal with individuals that break the law.”

Braverman was accused of undermining the fundamental democractic right to protest (PA Wire)
Braverman was accused of undermining the fundamental democractic right to protest (PA Wire)

Cabinet minister disagrees with Braverman claims that the police are playing ‘favourites’

07:41 , Tom Watling

Transport secretary Mark Harper has disagreed with Suella Braverman’s claim that police play “favourites” with pro-Palestinian protesters.

He told Times Radio: “I think all police forces are focused on upholding the law without fear or favour. That’s what they do.”

Asked whether he agreed with the Home Secretary’s remark, he said: “I’m not going to indulge in textual analysis of her article.”

He said police have been “focusing very hard on making sure that we don’t see any disturbance and disorder” at remembrance events this weekend.

Mark Harper refused to ‘indulfe in textual analysis’ of Suella Braverman’s latest article (PA Wire)
Mark Harper refused to ‘indulfe in textual analysis’ of Suella Braverman’s latest article (PA Wire)

Pro-Palestine march route: Saturday’s Armistice Day protest in London mapped

07:00 , Athena Stavrou

The latest pro-Palestine march through London is due to take place on Saturday 11 November, calling for an immediate ceasefire in the deadly Israel-Gaza conflict that erupted last month.

The march’s route will take activists from the Marble Arch corner of Hyde Park at approximately 12pm on Saturday.

It will then head south through the capital down the Vauxhall Bridge Road and cross the River Thames en route to the US Embassy on Nine Elms Lane.

Saturday’s pro-Palestine march through London mapped

British citizens forced to return to Gaza from safety in Egypt

06:30 , Athena Stavrou

Four Britons or family members of British citizens say they fear for their lives after being sent back into Gaza from Egypt because the UK government reportedly failed to put their names on lists of those allowed through.

Jane Dalton reports:

British citizens forced to return to Gaza from safety in Egypt

PM concedes march will go ahead: ‘Freedom is the right to peacefully protest'

06:00 , Athena Stavrou

Rishi Sunak has said the Metropolitan Police Commssioner committed to keep the force’s “posture under constant review” before the pro-Palestinian demonstration planned on Armistice Day after a meeting in Downing Street this afternoon.

Read more:

Sunak makes U-turn on pro-Palestine Armistice protest - live

Former Met commissioner says discussions on police operations should not be ‘aired publicly’

05:00 , Athena Stavrou

A former Metropolitan Police Commissioner has called for discussions around police operations for protests to be held privately, rather than aired publicly.

His comments came after Home Secretary Suella Braverman publicly called for the police to crack down on pro-Hamas protests amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Independent crossbench peer Lord Hogan-Howe said: “We all know that there is a real challenge, both for politicians and the police, in deciding whether to ban a march. Never easy, very rarely done...

“These are difficult decisions where you are trying to balance the right to protest against the problem of serious disorder.”

He said: “I do think the discussions around this topic should be done privately, not publicly,” and raised concerns over the implications of public discussions on the “operational independence of the police”.

UN chief says Gaza deaths show something 'wrong' with Israel tactics

04:00 , Athena Stavrou

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that the number of civilians killed in the Gaza Strip shows that there is something “clearly wrong” with Israel’s military operations against Hamas Palestinian militants.

Israel has vowed to wipe out Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, after the militants killed 1,400 people and took more than 240 hostages in an Oct. 7 attack. Israel has struck Gaza - an enclave of 2.3 million people - from the air, imposed a siege and launched a ground invasion.

The United Nations secretary-general, Antonio Guterres (REUTERS)
The United Nations secretary-general, Antonio Guterres (REUTERS)

Gaza interior ministry: Israeli air strike kills at least 19 near hospital

03:00 , Athena Stavrou

At least 19 people were killed in an Israeli air strike on a house near a hospital in north Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp on Wednesday, the enclave’s interior ministry said, as thousands of civilians fled southward to avoid fierce Israeli-Hamas ground fighting.

There was no immediate Israeli comment or details from the scene of the reported attack, which if confirmed would be the third on Gaza’s largest refugee camp in a week as the war between the Gaza Strip’s Islamist Hamas rulers and Israel entered its second month.

Police end investigation into alleged assault of poppy-selling veteran

02:00 , Athena Stavrou

Police are no longer investigating an alleged assault on a veteran selling poppies at a station during a pro-Palestinian rally due to “insufficient evidence”.

British Transport Police (BTP) said there is “no reason to believe” poppy sellers are at any risk of being targeted.

Jim Henderson, 78, told the Scottish Daily Mail he was punched as he tried to leave Waverley Station in Edinburgh before being helped by railway staff, as hundreds of protesters filled the station on November 4 in a demo against the actions of the Israeli government in Gaza.

Protest at Edinburgh Waverley on Saturday (@RaggedTP/X)
Protest at Edinburgh Waverley on Saturday (@RaggedTP/X)

Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan said: “Detectives have extensively monitored CCTV and spoken with key identified witnesses.

“There is insufficient evidence to take the investigation further at this time.

“We have no reason to believe that poppy sellers are at any risk or being intentionally targeted.”

Ireland want to ‘do more’ for people of Gaza

01:00 , Athena Stavrou

Irish premier Leo Varadkar has said his country “wants to do more” to support the people of Gaza, after previously announcing 13 million euro in additional humanitarian assistance for Palestinians.

Mr Varadkar is to attend the International Conference on Humanitarian Assistance to Gaza in Paris on Thursday with the aim to mobilise the main actors involved in the humanitarian response in Gaza to take action to assist Palestinian civilians in the territory.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Speaking ahead of the conference, he said: “The situation in Gaza is critical. We urgently need a humanitarian ceasefire and a significant scaling up of humanitarian access and supplies to get vital aid to people there.

“I thank President Macron for convening this important conference because decisive action is needed.

“Leaders will discuss how we can better respond to the urgent humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza, particularly in terms of health, food, water, medicines and electricity.

“Ireland has already committed an additional 13 million euro to help the people of Gaza, and we want to do more.”

Met will do ‘everything it can' to prevent disruption to Remembrance events

00:01 , Athena Stavrou

The Metropolitan Police have said they will do “everything in our power” to prevent disruption to Rememberance events this weekend.

It comes after they gave the green light for a pro-Palestine march in London to take place on Armistice Day.

“The events taking place this weekend are of great significance and importance to our nation,” Sir Mark Rowley said in a statement. “I completely recognise the significant public and political concern about the impact of ongoing protest and demonstrations on this moment of national reflection.

“Therefore I am determined we will do everything in our power to ensure they pass without disruption.”

Welsh politicians back immediate ceasefire

Wednesday 8 November 2023 23:00 , Athena Stavrou

Welsh politicians have backed calls for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

An amendment put forward called for a “suspension of hostilities to allow for the establishment of humanitarian corridors”.

The motion, which condemned the attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians, and the Israeli government’s “indiscriminate attacks on Gaza”, was carried by 24 votes to 19 with 13 Senedd members abstaining.

Proposing the motion, Plaid leader Rhun ap Iorweth told the Senedd: “I feel the need to speak today as a member of humanity.

“We are human. The pain of loss is felt equally by an Israeli and a Palestinian mother. Today we speak up for peace for all mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters.

“We speak today in pursuit of unity. We reject division. We take a stand against those seeking to encourage division.”

Sunak U-turn as he concedes pro-Palestine Remembrance Day march will go ahead

Wednesday 8 November 2023 22:30 , Athena Stavrou

Rishi Sunak has conceded that a pro-Palestine march will go ahead on Armistice Day but insisted the Metropolitan Police’s decision to allow the rally will be kept under “constant review”.

The prime minister summoned the Met’s commissioner to Downing Street on Wednesday to face questions on how he plans to keep the public safe, amid fears the “disrespectful” demonstration in London would disrupt Remembrance commemorations.

Read more:

Sunak U-turn as PM concedes pro-Palestine Remembrance Day march will go ahead

Wednesday 8 November 2023 21:55 , Athena Stavrou

Labour leader Keir Starmer has been warned that the resignation of a frontbencher over the party’s refusal to back a Gaza ceasefire “won’t be the last”.

Imran Hussain, the MP for Bradford East, announced that he was quitting his role as shadow minister for work to be able to “strongly advocate” for a ceasefire.

A Labour MP told The Independent: “I don’t think Imran Hussain will be the last. MPs will go back to their constituents – who will point to Imran and say ‘Why can’t you do that?’. So I imagine it could tip a few more into resigning.”

They added: “There’s still a lot of anger towards Starmer. The s***show isn’t going to go away. A vote in the Commons would be a moment of truth for MP to show their constituents they support for a ceasefire.”

Keir Starmer warned frontbencher who quit over Gaza stance ‘won’t be the last’

Israel carrying out air aerial attack in Southern Syria, says Syrian state media

Wednesday 8 November 2023 21:25 , Athena Stavrou

Israel carried out an air aerial attack targeting military sites in Southern Syria leading to some material losses, Syrian state media said on Wednesday citing a military source.

Congressional staffers band together to call for ceasefire amid Israel-Hamas war

Wednesday 8 November 2023 20:45 , Athena Stavrou

US Congressional staffers left their posts this afternoon to call for a ceasefire amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

The group of more than 100 staffers held an interfaith prayer vigil on the steps of the US Capitol to honor civilians killed during the fighting.

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Congressional staffers band together to call for ceasefire amid Israel-Hamas war

British citizens forced to return to Gaza from safety in Egypt

Wednesday 8 November 2023 20:15 , Athena Stavrou

Four Britons or family members of British citizens say they fear for their lives after being sent back into Gaza from Egypt because the UK government reportedly failed to put their names on lists of those allowed through.

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British citizens forced to return to Gaza from safety in Egypt

Netanyahu is ‘dead man walking, politically’, says ex-White House adviser

Wednesday 8 November 2023 19:45 , Athena Stavrou

Former White House national security adviser Dr Fiona Hill has said that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is a “dead man walking at this point… in a political sense”.

She told the News Agents podcast: “It’s very evident about how much he has messed up. There is an awful lot of opposition to what’s happening inside of Israel itself.”

She also said Vladimir Putin has shifted his stance on Israel due to “the support from Iran for the war in Ukraine” adding that Russia has attempted to exploit the Israel-Gaza conflict to ‘play a broader card of anti-Americanism”.

Former Met commissioner says discussions on police operations should not be ‘aired publicly'

Wednesday 8 November 2023 19:15 , Athena Stavrou

A former Metropolitan Police Commissioner has called for discussions around police operations for protests to be held privately, rather than aired publicly.

His comments came after Home Secretary Suella Braverman publicly called for the police to crack down on pro-Hamas protests amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Independent crossbench peer Lord Hogan-Howe said: “We all know that there is a real challenge, both for politicians and the police, in deciding whether to ban a march. Never easy, very rarely done...

“These are difficult decisions where you are trying to balance the right to protest against the problem of serious disorder.”

He said: “I do think the discussions around this topic should be done privately, not publicly,” and raised concerns over the implications of public discussions on the “operational independence of the police”.

Hamas has lost control in northern Gaza but no ceasefire, Israel says

Wednesday 8 November 2023 18:48 , Athena Stavrou

Hamas has lost control of northern Gaza as thousands of residents have moved south, Israel’s military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a televised briefing on Wednesday.

“We saw 50,000 Gazans move from the northern Gaza Strip to the south. They are moving because they understand that Hamas has lost control in the north,” Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said. “Hamas has lost control and is continuing to lose control in the north.”

Hagari added that there would be no ceasefire but Israel has been allowing for humanitarian pauses at specific times to allow for residents to relocate south.

Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt ‘closed due to security'

Wednesday 8 November 2023 18:30 , Athena Stavrou

The Rafah border crossing into Gaza was closed on Wednesday due to an unspecified “security circumstance,” U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said.

The United States expects the Egypt-controlled crossing will be reopened at “regular intervals” so that aid can enter the Gaza Strip and foreign nationals can continue to depart, Patel said during a regular press briefing.

Zelenskyy on Israel-Hamas war: 'We can't compare'

Wednesday 8 November 2023 18:07 , Athena Stavrou

Speaking to Reuters in New York, the Ukrainian leader said: “I don’t want to compare these two situations.

“You can’t compare it to a full-blown war. I’m not trying to say that something is more important. No. With all respect to all the nations but you have to understand that full-scale war is another thing.”

Sunak U-turns on pro-Palestine Armistice protest

Wednesday 8 November 2023 17:39 , Athena Stavrou

Rishi Sunak has said the Metropolitan Police Commssioner committed to keep the force’s “posture under constant review” before the pro-Palestinian demonstration planned on Armistice Day after a meeting in Downing Street this afternoon.

In a statement following his talks with Sir Mark Rowley over the planned event, the Prime Minister said: ““It’s welcome that the police have confirmed that the march will be away from the Cenotaph and they will ensure that the timings do not conflict with any Remembrance events.

“There remains the risk of those who seek to divide society using this weekend as a platform to do so. That is what I discussed with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner in our meeting.

“The Commissioner has committed to keep the Met Police’s posture under constant review based on the latest intelligence about the nature of the protests.”

He added that the right to peacefully protest is “part of [the] freedom” those celebrated on Armistice Day “gave so much” for.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Watch: Labour MP wipes away tears as she urges Government to ‘end bloodshed’ in Gaza

Wednesday 8 November 2023 17:24 , Athena Stavrou

Labour MP Naz Shah wiped tears from her eyes with a tissue in the Commons shortly after telling MPs of the plight of children in Gaza.

Ms. Shah called for the UK to “ramp up its effort to end the bloodshed”.

Ms. Shah, who is a shadow Home Office minister but was speaking from the backbenches, said “every day we see footage of heartbreaking stories” of children in Gaza.

The MP was emotional as she described footage of children caught up in the conflict, some believing they had died and others preparing for death, others holding a press conference “to call on the world to let them live”.

Pro-Palestine march route: Saturday’s Armistice Day protest in London mapped

Wednesday 8 November 2023 16:56 , Athena Stavrou

The latest pro-Palestine march through London is due to take place on Saturday 11 November, calling for an immediate ceasefire in the deadly Israel-Gaza conflict that erupted last month.

The march’s route will take activists from the Marble Arch corner of Hyde Park at approximately 12pm on Saturday.

It will then head south through the capital down the Vauxhall Bridge Road and cross the River Thames en route to the US Embassy on Nine Elms Lane.

Saturday’s pro-Palestine march through London mapped

UN rights chief says war crimes committed on both sides of Israel-Hamas conflict

Wednesday 8 November 2023 16:27 , Athena Stavrou

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Wednesday war crimes had been committed by both Israel and Hamas in the conflict that erupted just over a month ago.

“The atrocities perpetrated by Palestinian armed groups on 7 October were heinous, they were war crimes - as is the continued holding of hostages,” Volker Turk said at the Rafah crossing in Egypt on the border with Gaza.

“The collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians is also a war crime, as is unlawful forcible evacuation of civilians,” he added.

Starmer warned frontbencher who quit over Gaza stance ‘won’t be the last’

Wednesday 8 November 2023 16:05 , Adam Forrest

Labour leader Keir Starmer has been warned that the resignation of a frontbencher over the party’s refusal to back a Gaza ceasefire “won’t be the last”.

Imran Hussain, the MP for Bradford East, announced that he was quitting his role as shadow minister for work to be able to “strongly advocate” for a ceasefire.

A Labour MP told The Independent: “I don’t think Imran Hussain will be the last. MPs will go back to their constituents – who will point to Imran and say ‘Why can’t you do that?’. So I imagine it could tip a few more into resigning.”

They added: “There’s still a lot of anger towards Starmer. The s***show isn’t going to go away. A vote in the Commons would be a moment of truth for MP to show their constituents they support for a ceasefire.”

Read more:

Keir Starmer warned frontbencher who quit over Gaza stance ‘won’t be the last’

Winston Churchill’s grandson says Palestine protests on Armistice Day ‘must be allowed’

Wednesday 8 November 2023 15:40 , Athena Stavrou

Winston Churchill’s grandson Lord Nicholas Soames says Palestine protests planned for Armistice Day “must be allowed”.

Speaking on LBC, Lord Somaes said: “A lot of people died during the war to assert freedom.

“And because you may not agree or disagree with their views and because it is very contentious and very difficult, it’s going to put tremendous strain on the police, I think it must be allowed to go ahead.”

Minister wants to ensure Met have ‘taken into account all concerns’ related to demonstration

Wednesday 8 November 2023 15:14 , Athena Stavrou

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wants to ensure Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley has “taken into account all of the concerns” about a pro-Palestinian demonstration to take place on Armistice Day.

He told the PA news agency: “It’s the job of the Government to hold the police to account.

“The legal power to ban a march or not is held not by the Government but by the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

“The Prime Minister will want to make sure that the commissioner has taken into account all of the concerns that people have got about potential trouble on Saturday.

“The Government’s position remains that it would prefer that the organisers didn’t hold the march.

“It’s provocative and disrespectful, we think, in holding it on Armistice Day, and we would urge them to reconsider.”

Route for Armistice Day Palestine march confirmed

Wednesday 8 November 2023 14:55 , Athena Stavrou

The organisers of this Saturday’s pro-Palestine march have confirmed the route to be taken.

Thousands of people are expected to join the demonstration on Saturday to call for a ceasefire.

The protest has sparked controversy between the government, police, and campaigners over concerns the march may disrupt Armistice Day.

The closest the confirmed route gets to the Cenotaph is 1 mile, which is when the march goes down Vauxhall Bridge road.

The march is due to start at 12 noon.

Gaza siege conditions ‘totally unacceptable’, says Labour

Wednesday 8 November 2023 14:43 , Athena Stavrou

The government must ensure that fuel for humanitarian purposes can get into Gaza, Labour has said.

Shadow foreign office minister Lisa Nandy said fuel should be the government’s “urgent priority”.Speaking in the Commons, Ms Nandy said: “For weeks the international community has demanded the siege conditions on Gaza be lifted, but it still has not happened – this is totally unacceptable and it cannot continue.”

Ms Nandy also said humanitarian pauses were the “only viable prospect” and relayed calls for the government to appoint a humanitarian co-ordinator to “scale-up the passage of aid”.

Labour calls for emergency plan for children in Gaza

Wednesday 8 November 2023 14:22 , Athena Stavrou

An emergency plan for children in Gaza should be put in place by the Government as the “children’s war” continues, Labour has said.

“The average age in Gaza is just 18, make no mistake this is a children’s war. More children have died in Gaza in four weeks than in all of the world’s conflicts in each of the last three years,” Shadow Foreign Office minister Lisa Nandy said.

She added: “In most conflicts we would expect children to be evacuated to a safer place, to receive care and shelter. What makes this so devastating is that almost uniquely in this conflict that is not going to happen.”

 (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
(Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Labour MP Naz Shah wiped at her eyes with a tissue in the Commons shortly after telling MPs of the plight of children in Gaza.

The MP’s voice was filled with emotion as she described footage of children caught up in the conflict, some believing they had died and others preparing for death, others holding a press conference “to call on the world to let them live”.

“When will the UK ramp up its effort to end the bloodshed and ensure Palestinian children just have the right to live?” she asked.

Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell said: “She speaks for the whole House in saying that what is happening to children in Gaza appals us all.

“I just ask her to consider the wider context and accept that the Government understands and agrees with her analysis of the plight of children in Gaza and will do everything within the wider context to try and bring that to an end.”

The health ministry Gaza said on Monday that at least 10,022 people in Gaza have since been killed, including 4,104 children.

Starmer accuses PM of ‘cowardice’ for ‘picking a fight’ with police.

Wednesday 8 November 2023 14:04 , Athena Stavrou

Sir Keir Starmer has accused Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of “cowardice” for “picking a fight” with the Metropolitan Police over their decision to allow a pro-Palestinian demonstration to take place on Armistice Day.

The Labour leader tweeted: “Remembrance events must be respected. Full stop.

“But the person the PM needs to hold accountable is his Home Secretary. Picking a fight with the police instead of working with them is cowardice.

“The Tories put party before country. Labour will deliver the change Britain needs.”

Stop ‘politicising’ protester, senior Labour MP tells Sunak

Wednesday 8 November 2023 14:00 , Athena Stavrou

Labour MP John McDonnell urged Rishi Sunak not to “politicise” the Metropolitan Police by “interfering” with the force’s decision to allow a pro-Palestinian march on Armistice Day.

The left-winger told the BBC’s World At One programme: “Please … don’t politicise the police in this way. They’re trying to do their job, we should support them and the organisers themselves have made it clear this is a march for peace and a ceasefire.”

Meanwhile, Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell told the Commons that MPs are “all responsible for what they say” when asked about home secretary Suella Braverman’s description of the protests as “hate marches”.

John McDonnell (Beresford Hodge/PA) (PA Archive)
John McDonnell (Beresford Hodge/PA) (PA Archive)

Sunak unlikely to force Met to ban pro-Palestine protest

Wednesday 8 November 2023 13:45 , Athena Stavrou

Rishi Sunak’s government is unlikely to try to force the Metropolitan Police chief Sir Mark Rowley to ban the pro-Palestine march this Saturday, The Independent understands.

Under section 13 of the 1986 Public Order Act, a police chief can ask the home secretary to ban marches to avoid serious public disorder.

But Sir Mark has made clear there not sufficient intelligence to justify the request for a ban under section 13.Some groups, such as the Campaign Against Antisemitism, have urged the home secretary to use section 40 of the Police Act 1996 to step and overrule the decision – a power used when government decides a police force is failing to discharge its duties.

However, No 10 is understood to believe there is too high a bar to proving a police force is incompetent and forcing a ban through section 40.

Mr Sunak’s meeting with Sir Mark is aimed at getting assurance Sir Mark has considered all options to stop the march, and testing the approach to the decision to let the protest go ahead.

Over 150 British nationals have left Gaza

Wednesday 8 November 2023 13:25 , Athena Stavrou

More than 150 British nationals have left Gaza via the Rafah crossing as of Tuesday night, a Foreign Office minister said.

Making a statement in the Commons on the humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Andrew Mitchell said: “Immediately after Hamas’ brutal assault, the Government brought home almost 1,000 British nationals safely on charter and military flights, but the safety of all British nationals is our utmost priority and so we are in regular contact with those in Gaza registered with us since the conflict began.

“Working with partners, we have been engaging intensively with Israel and Egypt to allow foreign nationals to leave Gaza via the Rafah border crossing.

“This has proved possible on five of the last seven days and I can confirm to the House that as of late last night, over 150 British nationals have made it through to Egypt.”

 (©2023 Maxar Technologies)
(©2023 Maxar Technologies)

British nationals began to cross the border one week ago.

“A forward deployed team of consular officials is ... close to Rafah to meet them and provide the medical consular and administrative support they need,” Mr Mitchell said.

“We have also set up a reception centre for British nationals in Cairo and have arranged accommodation. We will do everything we can to ensure all remaining British nationals in Gaza can leave safely.”

No 10 denies Sunak trying to pressure Met into protest ban

Wednesday 8 November 2023 13:03 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Downing Street has denied Rishi Sunak is trying to put pressure on Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley into banning the protest, after the PM said he would hold the force “accountable”.

The PM’s official spokesman said: “No, that’s part and parcel of how government and the Met operate. The Met are operationally independent, it’s the job of the prime minister and the government to hold them to account for their approach. So, that is what the prime minister will be doing.”

Mr Sunak will meet with Sir Mark this lunchtime.

Asked if home secretary Suella Braverman was attending, No 10 said it did not have “a wider cast list” of attendees.

Rishi Sunak threatens Met Police chief over decision not to ban Pro-Palestine Armistice march

Wednesday 8 November 2023 12:32 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Rishi Sunak has warned the Metropolitan Police Commissioner that he will hold him “accountable” for his decision to greenlight a “disrespectful” pro-Palestinian demonstration on Armistice Day.

The prime minister has summoned Sir Mark Rowley to a meeting later on Wednesday for more information on how he plans to keep the public safe.

It comes a day after Sir Mark resisted pressure heaped on the force by politicians, including Mr Sunak, to try to block the protest calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip in London on Saturday.

Sunak threatens Met chief over decision not to ban Pro-Palestine Armistice march

Thousands flee north Gaza on foot as desperation grows over dwindling supplies and Israeli advance

Wednesday 8 November 2023 12:07 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Thousands more Palestinians have fled northern Gaza on foot, the U.N. said Wednesday, as desperation grew over the dwindling supply of food and water, intensified shelling and the approach of Israeli troops and tanks.Over 70% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million have already left their homes, but the number of people making their way south has quickened recently, as the war triggered by Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault inside Israel entered its second month.

With no end in sight to the fighting, an increasingly dire humanitarian situation is unfolding inside the besieged Palestinian enclave.

International pressure mounted on Israel over the civilians’ plight, with the Group of Seven industrialized nations calling Wednesday for the “unimpeded” delivery of food, water, medicine and fuel, and for “humanitarian pauses” in the fighting.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far resisted such calls, while leaving open the possibility of smaller breaks in the fighting.

Israel Palestinians (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Israel Palestinians (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

‘We live in a state of fear’: Jenin residents ‘terrified’ as IDF bombards West Bank and settler violence grows

Wednesday 8 November 2023 11:27 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

‘What is this life? Where is the world?’ Anxious Jenin locals speak to Maryam Zakir-Hussain as Israeli raids ramp up in the occupied Palestinian territory:

Terrified children and desperate mothers line the corridors of Jenin’s public hospital, taking shelter from Israeli soldiers as they raid a nearby refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

While much of the focus on the ongoing Israel-Hamas war has been on the Gaza strip, Palestinians in the West Bank are facing a multitude of threats, from air strikes above to settlers and soldiers on the ground.

“The soldiers cross all lines now,” Dr Wisam Bakr, general director of Jenin Governmental Hospital, told The Independent.

“Our staff are in danger. An unarmed Palestinian man was killed in front of the emergency department hospital by Israeli soldiers.”

Read more here:

West Bank residents ‘terrified’ as IDF bombards enclave and settler violence grows

Rishi Sunak to hold Met Police Commissioner ‘accountable’ for giving Saturday protest greenlight

Wednesday 8 November 2023 10:55 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Rishi Sunak has said he will hold the Metropolitan Police Commissioner “accountable” for his decision to greenlight a “disrespectful” pro-Palestinian demonstration to take place on Armistice Day.

The Prime Minister will meet Sir Mark Rowley to discuss the issue later on Wednesday.

Speaking to broadcasters during a visit to a school in Lincolnshire, the Prime Minister said: “This is a decision that the Metropolitan Police Commissioner has made.

“He has said that he can ensure that we safeguard remembrance for the country this weekend as well as keep the public safe.

“Now, my job is to hold him accountable for that.

“We’ve asked the police for information on how they will ensure that this happens. I’ll be meeting the Metropolitan Police Commissioner later today to discuss this.

“More broadly, my view is that these marches are disrespectful and that’s what I’ll be discussing with the Police Commissioner later today.”

Rochdale Cenotaph vandalised with ‘Free Palestine’ graffiti and poppy wreaths damaged

Wednesday 8 November 2023 10:35 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Police officers are guarding Rochdale Cenotaph after two incidents at the war memorial, which saw graffiti sprayed and a number of poppy wreaths damaged.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have stationed police community support officers by the cenotaph, which the force said is “currently a crime scene”.

An incident on Monday led to two teenagers, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, being charged with intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance.

Rochdale Cenotaph vandalised with ‘Free Palestine’ graffiti and poppy wreaths damaged

Suella Braverman accused of ‘trying to get fired’ with ‘dangerous’ Palestine protest remarks

Wednesday 8 November 2023 10:24 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Home secretary Suella Braverman has been accused of “looking to get fired” by Rishi Sunak in order to launch her bid to become the next leader of the Tory party.

Senior Tory peer Baroness Warsi accused Ms Braverman of being “dangerous and divisive” for her comments on pro-Palestine rallies which “embolden the far right”.

And Colin Bloom, the government’s former adviser on faith engagement, said the home secretary – who has described the protests as “hate marches” – was “goading No 10” to sack her.

Suella Braverman accused of ‘trying to get fired’ with ‘dangerous’ Palestine remarks

Imran Hussain: Labour frontbencher resigns over Keir Starmer’s stance on Gaza

Wednesday 8 November 2023 10:23 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A Labour frontbencher has resigned over Sir Keir Starmer’s position on the crisis in the Middle East, adding to pressure on the Labour leader over his stance on conflict.

Imran Hussain, MP for Bradford East, said he was quitting his role as shadow minister for the new deal for working people to be able to “strongly advocate” for a ceasefire.

In a letter to Sir Keir, he said he was “deeply troubled” by the Labour leader’s interview on LBC in which he appeared to suggest that the Israeli government had a right to withhold water and power from citizens in Gaza.

Imran Hussain: Labour frontbencher resigns over Keir Starmer’s stance on Gaza

Met says pro-Palestine Armistice Day demo to go ahead as ‘law gives no absolute power’ for ban

Wednesday 8 November 2023 10:20 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

A pro-Palestinian demonstration is set to go ahead on Armistice Day after the head of the Metropolitan Police said there is “no absolute power” to ban protest.

Sir Mark Rowley resisted pressure heaped on the force by politicians including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to try to block the gathering in London on Saturday.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sir Mark said intelligence surrounding the potential for serious disorder this weekend does not meet the threshold to apply to prohibit the march.

Met says pro-Palestine Armistice Day demo to go ahead as ‘no absolute power’ for ban