Akehurst Labour Durham campaign launch descends into chaos

  • Post last modified:June 3, 2024
  • Reading time:10 mins read

At Labour candidate Luke Akehurst’s general election campaign launch in Durham on Sunday 2 June, police had to escort the self confessed ‘Zionist shitlord‘ away after things got violent:

On Wednesday 29 May, the Labour Party announced Akehurst as its candidate for Durham North. It turns out, local party members didn’t even select him. Instead, the NEC ‘parachuted’ him in:

‘Mass turnout’

Maybe Akehurst was hoping his fans would show up in their hundreds in Durham to help launch his campaign. But looking at the photos shared on X, you wouldn’t have expected a problem with crowd control:

Worryingly though, things got violent which resulted in someone calling the police. However, it is not clear who called the police, and on which group of protesters:

One big question stemming from this fuck-up of a campaign launch has to be why far-right protesters turned up to defend Akehurst:

Whilst the Labour party seems to have taken a leap to the right in recent weeks, mixing with far-right protesters seems like a new low:

It is clear that the woman in the blue dress assaulted one of the pro-Palestine protesters. However, it’s worth noting that it is not clear who she is and if she was one of Akehurst’s pals.

Meanwhile, Akehurst’s wife – Linda Smith, who is a Labour councillor on Oxford City council and the cabinet member for Housing and Communities, was caught on camera saying:

‘yours belong in Iran but we’re not shouting about that’

This was in response to a pro-Palestine protester saying:

‘Your politics belong in the BNP mate’

Which people quite rightly pointed out is racist.

Last week, Labour deselected Faiza Shaheen for liking tweets which Labour claimed were antisemitic. They claimed other tweets were supporting other parties, such as the Green Party. Understandably, many people now have questions after Akehurst’s supporters have been caught on camera being racist.

Additionally, it came to light he deleted over 2000 tweets in the lead up to his announcement about standing:

Red flags

As someone on X pointed out, Akehurst’s social media history alone should have served as warning to the Labour Party:

It seems that more broadly, the Labour Party may have wildly misunderstood how locals feel about the situation in Gaza:

On a more positive note – Chris Bradburn announced he was standing against Akehurst for the Workers Party of Britain:

A candidate emboldening the far right and inciting racism? It’s increasingly obvious that that’s becoming Labour’s legacy under Starmer. Labour has always been the party of the people – and therefore protests. Moreover, there are already serious issues becoming apparent with the party adopting the ‘parachute’ technique for MP candidates – something Tony Blair made infamous.

However, the type of protest which Akehurst’s posse brought over the weekend should leave Labour with more questions than answers about the future of the party.

Feature Image via the Canary

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