Demo threat sees Labour fund-raiser for MP Reed ‘postponed’

EXCLUSIVE: Major fund-raising event has been cancelled over fears of protest against shadow cabinet member by local Muslims angered by Starmer’s failure to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. By STEVEN DOWNES

‘Inappropriate’: MP Steve Reed’s 45-quid-a-head piss-up has been cancelled as anger over his Gaza comments increases among Labour members

The Croydon Labour Party has cancelled a gala dinner planned for tomorrow night after complaints from local Imams and other Muslims over the party’s obdurate stance in failing to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The dinner, “Labour Road to Victory Fundraiser”, was to have been held at the Grand Sapphire Hotel off the Purley Way, with shadow cabinet member Steve Reed, the Croydon North MP, an honoured guest.

It is thought that almost 200 people had bought £45 tickets for the event.

But an announcement issued today by the event organisers said, “We apologise for any inconvenience, but this has been postponed.”

Apparently, “All tickets will be valid for a future event.” Which is nice…

Detour: the ‘Road to Victory’ bun fight has been ‘postponed’

Since October 7, when Hamas terrorists conducted a vicious attack on Israeli settlements outside Gaza, it is reckoned that more than 7,000 Palestinians have been killed, 4,000 of them children, in attacks conducted by the Israeli Defence Force.

According to UNICEF, the number of internally displaced people has reached 1.4million, with more than 550,000 seeking refuge in the 150 UN-run schools that are serving as shelters in the central and southern areas of the Gaza Strip.

“The children and families are living in very crowded and dire conditions with little or no access to basic supplies,” UNICEF reports.

On Friday, 120 countries voted for a United Nations resolution calling for a “sustained humanitarian truce” in Gaza, as Israel’s military announced it is “expanding ground operations”.

The Labour Party in Britain has been mired in controversy after its leader, Sir Keir Starmer, took the position that Israel was in some way justified in carrying out the Gaza attacks on civilians, while denying them food, water and fuel, acts which have been roundly condemned elsewhere as war crimes.

Among Starmer’s strongest supporters on the issue has been right-winger Reed.

Starmer made no change to his position at a Chatham House speech yesterday, despite growing dissent within the Labour Party, including the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Suffering: the children of Gaza have no food, no water and no fuel, as they suffer bombardments by the Israeli military

So far, 66 Labour MPs have called for a ceasefire (16 of them frontbenchers, though not either of Croydon’s MPs, Reed or Sarah Jones), as have the Labour Mayors of London, Greater Manchester and Yorkshire. Hundreds of Labour local councillors have joined the calls for a ceasefire, with 34 of them resigning from the party over the issue.

No councillors in Croydon Labour – which is reputed to be closely monitored by Reed – have made calls for a ceasefire. No Croydon Labour councillors have resigned.

Labour sources tonight suggested that staging the fund-raising dinner had been deemed to be “inappropriate”.

But others suggest that the decision to cancel the event was taken after multiple messages began circulating on WhatsApp groups in which the real “inappropriateness” of the dinner was exposed. Muslims and supporters of Palestine were called on to boycott the dinner and to join a demonstration outside the Grand Sapphire Hotel.

Some suggested that pressure was also being put on the hotel’s owner, Suleman Raza, himself a Muslim, to cancel the event as a protest against Starmer and Reed’s position on Gaza.

In one of the social media messages, it says, “On Thursday 2nd November, the Croydon Labour Group are holding a fundraising Banquet at the Grand Sapphire Hotel and Banqueting Suite to raise funds for Steve Reed’s (and others) re-election to Parliament.

Israeli links: some of the messages on social media highlighted Reed’s associations

“Whilst the children in Gaza starve, can’t find drinking water and are being bombed, Steve and his supporters will feast, whilst refusing to call for a ceasefire.”

And in a further online message, it outlined that Reed had described Starmer’s “opposition to a ceasefire as being ‘consistent’, although the UN Human Rights Commission calls an immediate ceasefire ‘imperative'”.

The note continued: “Reed promises that if Labour gets into power he will prevent local authorities from divesting pension funds from unethical Israeli companies which are complicit in the illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

“Reed has been exposed as being supported by the pro-Israel lobby,” the statement read, providing a link to coverage from 12 months ago of a meeting the MP had with an influential Israeli donor.

When contacted by Inside Croydon tonight about their cancelled bun fight, a Labour organiser declined to comment.

Read more: Only one Croydon MP attended mosques’ emergency meetings
Read more: Starmer’s Labour is ‘losing members, losing funds, losing staff’
Read more: #TheLabourFiles: MP Reed, Evans and the Croydon connection

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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6 Responses to Demo threat sees Labour fund-raiser for MP Reed ‘postponed’

  1. Brian Finegan says:

    This is a genocide being carried out by a nuclear-armed state with the full support of our government and the “loyal opposition”. Neither of our main parties are even calling for a ceasefire to stop thousands more innocent civilian deaths.

    My mum escaped the Holocaust arriving here on a boat as a refugee. Back then this country went to war for the liberation of Europe. Now it’s unashamedly complicit in a textbook case of genocide that has been 75 years in the making.

    I’m sick to the stomach that my old party, Labour, has joined in so enthusiastically. My MP, Sarah Jones, not so much as a peep.

    I lived in Palestine for a few months teaching English. The kids now being killed are no different to our kids and deserve their best life with the same rights that all Israelis enjoy. I’ll be marching again on Saturday calling for a ceasefire, an end to the occupation of Palestine and for an end to Apartheid.

    • Dan Kelly says:

      When can I join Mr Finegan on marches for the Rohingyas, the Uyghurs, the Yemenis and the Moslem minority in India?
      As for the children why weren’t they evacuated like the British were in WWII?
      My mum arrived here on a troopship, having seen active service in the ATS in Palestine and Egypt.

      • Dan, we don’t need your permission to protest about what we find abhorrent, no matter how your mum arrived here.

        Your question about evacuating children is ridiculous. Where would they go to? How would they escape the Israeli blockade? Are you saying that the Israel Defense Forces are no different from the Luftwaffe?

        Right now the IDF are commiting war crimes against an oppressed minority group with the intention of either killing or expelling them, then taking their land. All this with the political, military and financial support of governments, corporations and banks around the world.

        That there are similar atrocities in Myanmar, Xinjiang, Yemen, India and elsewhere is no excuse for not condemning the mass murders taking place in Gaza right now, calling for a ceasefire and finding a political solution that both sides can live with.

        Netanyahu doesn’t want a peaceful Palestinian nation on his doorstep, which is why he and his predecessors cultivated Hamas for decades, to keep peacemakers marginalised and have an enemy he could confront for political gain. That policy blew up in his face on 7 October when the terrorists he funded literally crossed the line.

  2. Selly says:

    Reed so very out of touch with his electorate. What a clown! Anyone paying £45 a ticket to hear from a bootlicking careerist is a mug.

  3. Eugene Regan says:

    Blame Hamas, they will never agree to a ceasefire,if you were in Gaza, you would know they will only accept the complete destruction of Israel, they are responsible for the deaths of their own people,

    • FTFY: “Blame Likud, they will never agree to a ceasefire,if you were in Israel, you would know they will only accept the complete destruction of Palestine, they are responsible for the deaths of their own people,”

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