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Flags aflutter for Labour conference Palestine debate

SCORES of Palestinian flags were waved amid lively scenes on the conference floor today during a debate on Palestine.

Delegates chanted “Free Palestine” as a motion condemning the Israeli response to protests in the Gaza Strip was moved by Colin Monehen from Harlow CLP.

He said an “army” would be needed to remove him from the stage, prompting cheers and claps from many in the audience, after he was told his speaking time was up.

He said: “If you want me off this stage, you’re going to have to get security up here and they better send an army, because Eastenders, like Palestinians, don’t go down easy.”

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry told conference there are “sickening individuals” exploiting legitimate support for Palestine.

She said: “We all support the Palestinian cause, we are all committed to recognise the Palestinian state and I stand here with no hesitation when I condemn the Netanyahu government for its racist policies and its criminal actions against the Palestinian people.”

Hilary Wise, of Ealing Central & Acton CLP, condemned “the campaign of slurs and accusations of anti-semitism” directed against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the left of the party.

“I have looked into these accusations very carefully — I’m an academic, I know how to do research — a few of them are justified, most of them actually are not,” she said.

“I’m afraid it is an orchestrated campaign.”

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