Fifty protesters greeted Hilary Benn MP at his surgery this morning (Saturday 5 December 2015), angry that he had supported the bombing of Syria in Parliament this week.
The protesters were angry but respectful and were supported by passing motorists and a Fire Engine tooting their horns. In speeches, Mr Benn was criticised for the deaths of innocent people as a result of the bombing and of not breaking ties with Turkey and Saudi Arabia who both tacitly support ISIS.
Mr Benn eventually came out came out to speak to the protesters and a twenty minute discussion followed.
Ejaz Ahmed from Beeston asked if he would now apologise for the Iraq war, but Mr Benn said he was pleased Saddam Hussein had been removed and that the rise of ISIS was not a result the Iraq war. He said Britain should accept more refugees and commended the community on welcoming refugees over the years.
He said he supported the Kurds and claimed they welcomed allied air support in their fight against ISIS, but he wouldn’t be drawn on Britain’s relationship to Turkey (who are bombing the Kurds) saying they were a sovereign country who must make their own policy decisions.
Steve Johnston from Beeston said the point of the protest had been to show Hilary Benn that he was not speaking for his constituents when he supported bombing Syria. He added that he felt they had made their point very clearly.