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Starmer unfazed by glitter bomb protester as Labour on track to power

The coating of Sir Keir Starmer in glitter by a protester has not affected his party’s lead in national polls, as predictions grow of a Labour landslide at the next election.

Starmer had just begun his keynote speech at the end of the Labour Party’s annual conference when Yaz Ashmawi mounted the stage and dumped two containers of green and purple glitter on the Labour Leader.

Starmer held Mr Ashmawi away from the microphone, whilst security took over 10 seconds to reach the stage and apprehend the protester.

A Labour source later told The Times that they were “really f***ing angry” over the breach, complaining that “If he had a weapon, Keir could’ve been killed.”

Politicians get a lot of death threats and they have a need to feel safe and I compromised that in that moment by touching him

Yaz Ashmawi

Starmer subsequently called Mr Ashmawi an “idiot”. Ashmawi later apologised “for putting my hand on him and touching him when he wasn’t expecting it”, but would not do so for the protest itself, which was linked to the activist group People Demand Democracy.

Mr Ashwami later commented: “Politicians get a lot of death threats and they have a need to feel safe and I compromised that in that moment by touching him.”

The incident, which took place on October 10, marked a moment of drama during an otherwise uneventful conference for the Labour Party, widely panned as “boring” by journalists.

This has been to the delight of party insiders, who sought to contrast Labour’s supposedly business-like conference against that held by the Conservative Party from October 1 to 4.

That event saw Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s hopes of an electoral “reset” dashed by a U-turn over the completion of HS2 and a speech from Sunak’s predecessor Liz Truss attacking his economic policies.

Hopes that this year’s ‘party conference season’ could provide a springboard from which the Conservatives might narrow Labour’s polling lead have been quashed. Labour’s lead in all national polls remained in the mid-to-high double digits in the weeks following both parties’ conferences.

Labour insiders can point to further success from a series of key by-elections that followed the conferences. On October 19, the party achieved two historic wins when it overturned massive Conservative majorities in Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire.

The successes prompted prognosticator Professor Sir John Curtice to tell the BBC he thought the Conservatives were on track to lose the next election, “maybe even more heavily than they did in 1997”, when Labour won a 179-seat majority under Tony Blair.


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