Reeves: Some protests targeting MPs over Gaza war ‘crossed the line’

Some protests targeting MPs over their stance on the war in Gaza have “crossed the line from protest to intimidation”, said shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves.

The Labor MP condemned the protests outside MPs' houses as “totally unacceptable” and urged those calling for a ceasefire to do so “responsibly”.

The Labor leadership abstained from a Commons vote on Wednesday to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, but Sir Keir Starmer suffered the biggest rebellion of his leadership as 56 of his MPs, including 10 shadow ministers and parliamentary aides, defied the whip of the party to vote in favor. .

The Labor leadership called instead for longer “humanitarian pauses” and for Israel to “protect hospitals” and end the “siege” of water, food and other essentials in Gaza.

This kind of intimidation and taking protests to people's homes, I think, crosses the line

Rachel Reeves

Asked on Sky News' Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips about the protests outside MPs' offices, Ms Reeves said: “I believe in the right to protest, I don't believe in the right to bully.

“Some of these protests, I believe, in recent days have crossed the line from protest to intimidation. Demonstrating outside people's homes, putting pressure on them in that way, I think is completely unacceptable.

“In a democracy we elect our MPs and they make decisions. They represent their constituents, but they also listen to all the evidence. Anything that would attempt to intimidate an MP into voting a certain way or put pressure on them – is undemocratic in my view.”

Ms Reeves added: “I would urge the people who are holding these protests: I understand why you are calling for a ceasefire, but do it in a responsible way and don't intimidate or pressure your elected representatives or anyone else that matters in this way .”

He told the BBC's Sunday With Laura Kuensberg that the “tremendous pressure” put on MPs before and after the vote was “very worrying”, adding: “(former home secretary) Suella Braverman's comments that these are hate marches etc. it's scary, but I don't support bullying Members of Parliament.”

Ms Reeves added: “This kind of intimidation and taking protests into people's homes, I think it crosses the line.”

She said it hasn't happened to her, but to some of her colleagues.

MPs on both sides of the ceasefire debate have faced abuse since Wednesday's Commons vote.

Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens had her constituency office vandalized after abstaining in the Gaza vote, while Naz Shah, who resigned from the front bench to back the ceasefire, said she had received “Islamophobic hate ».