Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy has said it is “right” that Labour MPs do not attend protests about the Israel-Hamas war.
Labour MPs and councillors were sent emails from the party leadership, “strongly advising” them not to attend any protests or rallies.
Thousands of people took part in a pro-Palestine march in the centre of London yesterday, with former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn among those who addressed the crowds.
It came amid the ongoing conflict sparked by last weekend’s attacks on Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
He said: “It’s important that as we want to be the next government, that people do not share platforms with people who do not share Labour values, that they’re careful and cautious.
“And we’ve seen Labour members of parliament exercise that caution over the last few days and I think that must be right.”
Presenter Victoria Derbyshire said: “So are you saying because again, I want to be clear. If you’re a Labour MP or Labour councillor, you shouldn’t go for example, to a pro-Palestinian rally?”
Lammy replied: “If you’re a Labour MP, you should always be careful whom you share platforms with at this moment, and you should be very careful that you do nothing to drive division in our communities.
“There’s a rise in anti-semitism, there’s a rise in Islamophobia in our country as I speak. In a position of responsibility, you do everything to minimise those who sew division.”
Querying whether or not the guidance given to Labour MPs and councillors applied to protests supporting both sides of the conflict, Derbyshire said: “And are you saying they can’t go to a pro -srael rally?”
Lammy said: “Guidance has gone out. It’s very clear what that guidance is.
“People have a right to protest in our country. It’s a right we defend because we’re a democracy, justice. We defend the rule of law and international law. So people have the right to protest.
“We as leaders in our community should be very judicious and careful. I think this time, that’s the right thing to do. And it’s particularly the right thing to do if you hope one day to be the government.”