The leader of an Independent Socialist political group has hit out after a pro-Palestine protest was shut down.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands several protesters submitted a petition to Haringey Council but were “denied the right to speak” at a meeting at Tottenham Town Hall on March 14.

Independent Socialist councillor Lotte Collett – one of three to quit Haringey Labour last year and form the new political group – was present and said the protesters defended their right to speak before being “cleared out” by security staff on the orders of the mayor, who chairs council meetings.

In footage, protesters are seen being ushered out by security, with some instances of resistance.

Cllr Lotte Collett. Photo: Haringey Council

Cllr Lotte Collett. Photo: Haringey Council

Cllr Collett claimed some of the women were handled in an “aggressive manner” while the men were treated “more respectfully”.

In video uploaded to Twitter, a man is shown playing the sound of drones from a phone while he calls out: “This is the sound of drones that kids in Gaza have to listen to every single day.”

He also called for the council to divest from pension fund investments linked to illegal Israeli settlements and the supply of weapons to Israel, while demanding a ceasefire.

A woman also stood in the public gallery holding a Palestinian flag and said: “A rebel borough? When you have known since July 2022 that you invested in arms companies like Lockheed Martin and Elbit Systems.” 

Earlier this month Haringey was awarded the ‘London Borough of Culture’ for 2027 with a campaign dubbed ‘Rebel Borough’.

Cllr Peray Ahmet. Photo: Haringey Labour

Cllr Peray Ahmet. Photo: Haringey Labour

In response to the protest, council leader Cllr Peray Ahmet said she remains “focused on delivering for our residents” and that the council “does not have a remit over foreign policy”.

Cllr Collett quit the Labour Party last year over what she described as the “quite serious diktat coming from Labour HQ”. She said: “We’re silenced on things, certainly silenced on Gaza, that’s not to say it’s coming from any members within the local party, it’s coming from Labour HQ."

She also says that “unlike many others around the country” Haringey Council had taken a stance that no statement would be made that was pro-Gaza.

But Cllr Ahmet said the protesters at last week’s meeting had “overstepped the mark” by taking “direct action to actively disrupt" the meeting.

She said footage showed the council security's response was "not overly aggressive".