The former spin doctor entered through back door as anti-war campaigners gathered

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Protestors gather outside The Asian Centre Protestors gather outside The Asian Centre

Anti-war campaigners protested outside a meeting attended by former Labour spin doctor Alistair Campbell.

Walthamstow Labour Party invited Mr Campbell to speak at the fundraising event, promoted as ‘curry with a spin’, at The Asian Centre in Orford Road, Walthamstow, yesterday.

Mr Campbell, working alongside Tony Blair, is considered an architect of New Labour and was Downing Street’s head of communications during the Iraq war.

As about demonstrators carrying placards with slogans such as “Alastair Campbell – blood on your hands” and “curry with a spin – put it in the bin”, Mr Campbell entered the venue through a back door.

Protestor Nancy Taffe, of the Socialist Coalition (TUSC), said: "The fact he has been invited reveals a lot about Labour. He is a war criminal."

Dan Gillman, of Brooke Road in Walthamstow, said she supported the rally to remind people about the Iraq war.

The 41-year-old history teacher said: "It is a bit of an insult as a trade unionist party to invite him here.

"The war is symbolised by two people; Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell. It is important that we don’t forget the war and the lives lost."

Secretary of Waltham Forest National Union of Teachers, Steve White, criticised Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy for supporting Mr Campbell’s visit.

The 58 year-old said: "I disapprove of the event and I want Labour to be reminded of Campbell’s attack on Iraq.

"He is heavily implicated for his involvement in Iraq. We need to discourage Labour from this fundraising diversion to remind them of what matters in the community.

"Stella Creasy is absolutely misplaced and is not working hard enough in Parliament to make conditions better for people in the borough. She should be condemned for this event instead of welcoming it."

Leslie Finlayson, a former Conservative councillor in Hale End and Highams Park ward for 16 years, was at the event after switching her allegiance to Labour five years ago.

The 53-year-old, of Woodside Park Avenue, said: "I am here tonight because of Stella Creasy.

 Since becoming an MP, she has shown she is hard-working, clever and here for the people. I’ve always been fascinated by Alastair Campbell and his political career, he is charismatic and yet mysterious.

"Tony Blair didn’t win the elections’, Alastair Campbell did. He is a powerful, clever and intelligent man."

Steve Race, 41, from Hackney, also praised Ms Creasy.

He said: "I think Stella Creasy is a fantastic MP and I’m proud to be a local party member.

"Instead of them (the protestors) standing out here, they should be protesting at Conservative and Lid Dem events for all the cuts they’re imposing."

The Guardian was refused entry to the event by Ms Creasy, which was attended by more than 100 people.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree