Preston MP caught up in Middle East row

Preston MP Mark Hendrick has become embroiled in a row after an event he hosted in Parliament ended acrimoniously.

Sunday, 30th April 2017, 12:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:39 pm

Video footage filmed at the pro-Palestinian gathering purportedly shows pro-Israel activists being ordered to leave by Mr Hendrick – and then marched out by police officers.

‘The Question of Jerusalem: Occupation, Discrimination and Displacement’ event had been held to discuss to actions of Israel in the ancient Holy City.

The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), which organised the free talk last Tuesday, said four people “immediately began to cause an immense disruption to the meeting by engaging in verbally abusive behaviour towards the audience, the speakers, and the chairman of the event MP Mark Hendrick”.

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It added: “This forced the chairman to call upon Parliament police to remove the offenders from the premises. In addition to their combative behaviour, the four activists also filmed and audio recorded the event despite MP Hendrick’s clear statement that it is forbidden to do so.”

One of the activists told the MailOnline: “I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, I feel it’s very wrong to be told to leave for just giving my opinions’.

“But I saw a policeman with a machine gun and I didn’t want to argue. The House of Commons is supposed to be the heart of free speech. But this Labour MP wanted it to be an echo chamber, not a debating chamber.”

Police officers are routinely armed in Parliament.

The Post has approached Mr Hendrick for a comment.