Protester storms stage as Sir Keir Starmer starts speech

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Watch: Protester throws glitter over Starmer at conference

A protester has gatecrashed Sir Keir Starmer’s speech and poured glitter over the Labour leader as he started speaking at the party’s conference.

The speech was delayed as the protester was dragged off stage by security.

The protester called for “citizen-led” democracy, but it’s unclear what cause they were promoting.

Sir Keir dusted off the glitter from his shoulders and said: “If he [the protester] thinks that bothers me, he doesn’t know me.”

“Protest or power, that’s why we’ve changed.”

The chaotic start to Sir Keir’s speech – potentially his last before the general election – will have been hugely unwelcome for the Labour leader and his team will be furious it has been disrupted this way.

The protest raises questions about the effectiveness of the security arrangements for Sir Keir, who has close protection as leader of the opposition.

Video shows the protester being escorted from the conference centre and put into a police van outside.

The protester said “people demand democracy” as he was put in the police van.

The protester’s T-shirt suggests he is tied to a group called People Demand Democracy, which is calling for electoral reform.

In a letter to Sir Keir on its website, People Demand Democracy calls for Labour to “hold new national elections with a proportional voting system and set up a House of Citizens within six months of getting into office”.

The campaign warns Sir Keir that if he does not meet their demands, “People Demand Democracy will take proportionate action to get our message across to you and the Labour Party leadership”.

The incident is reminiscent of disruption during other speeches by party leaders and prime ministers at previous conferences.

For example last year, Greenpeace campaigners heckled Liz Truss during her conference speech, and in 2017, a comedian was able to walk straight up to the stage and hand Theresa May a mock-P45.

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