MP's agent marched out of Gaza peace conference

Date published: 26 January 2009

A representative for Paul Rowen MP was marched out of a public conference because he asked the speaker if he could read out a speech.

David Hennigan, who works as an agent for the MP, was thrown out of Castlemere Community centre during a Gaza conference with George Galloway MP, because the committee decided he had acted inappropriately.

This caused outrage among the other Lib Dems who were present, who subsequently stormed out of the meeting.

Paul Rowen MP was invited to the event but was unable to make it, so he sent Mr Hennigan to read the speech out for him.

Mohammed Shafiq, who organised the event said: “Dave should not have spoken out to the speaker with this speech, it was decided early on that we didn’t want him to speak, we are not happy with the way he has acted towards us in the past”.

Councillors Wera and William Hobhouse also stormed out of the meeting.

William Hobhouse said: “Why is it that George Galloway can speak and Paul Rowen can not. This was outrageous behaviour and in no way acceptable.

Mr Hennigan said: “I was absolutely disgusted at the behaviour of what claims to be an organisation who promote peace and community cohesion.

"I was there to represent Paul Rowen and made this clear to the Chief Executive at the start of the meeting.

"I was therefore surprised to be asked to leave without any reason and be physically intimidated by a number of heavies and not allowed to return to the meeting.

"Their despicable behaviour goes against the very ethos of what the meeting was about and I am shocked and quite frankly cannot understand their behaviour and aggression.”

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen, who was absent as he was on his way to a Council of Europe Meeting to push for a European-wide debate on Gaza said: “I am shocked and disappointed by what I see as a deliberate snub to me.

"I have every right to send someone on my behalf and had informed the organisers that I was sending a representative to speak on my behalf.

"I have written to their Chief Executive outlining my concerns and more importantly the treatment of my staff. I know that David was upset at how he was treated and I don’t blame him – he was just doing his job.

"The behaviour of the Ramadhan Foundation leaves a lot to be desired and I must say it puts a big question mark on both the legitimacy and morals of this small organisation".


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