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Parliament's recent protests

02 August 11 15:15
Rupert Murdoch attacked

As the man who attacked Rupert Murdoch with a shaving foam pie is sentenced, we look back at the history of recent parliamentary protests.


July 2011: As News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch is being questioned by MPs over the phone-hacking scandal, a protester rushes to the front of the room to thrust a plate of shaving foam into his face. The hearing of the Commons culture committee is suspended while police arrest Jonathan May-Bowles.

He later admits charges of assault and causing harassment, alarm or distress. He is sentenced to six weeks in prison.


February 2008: Six protesters against the expansion of Heathrow Airport climb on to the roof of the Houses of Parliament, unfurling banners and throwing paper planes. They say they got up there by way of a fire escape, but police say there is a strong possibility they were guests of security pass holders.


March 2007: Four Greenpeace campaigners scale a crane beside the Houses of Parliament in protest at the Blair government's plans to update its Trident nuclear weapons system. They go on to unfurl a 50ft banner reading "Tony heart WMD" ahead of a Commons vote on the issue. MPs eventually vote to back the plans, despite the biggest revolt by Labour MPs since Iraq. The company using the crane to carry out repair work on Westminster Bridge describes the protest as a "real pain".


September 2004: Parliament has to be suspended after five protesters get into the Commons chamber while MPs debate whether to ban hunting with dogs. The men enter dressed in boiler suits and posing as builders, before discarding their suits to reveal fox hunting protest T-shirts, while thousands of people protest outside. When the Commons resumes business, MPs vote to back the ban. Protester Otis Ferry, son of musician Bryan Ferry, is among eight men convicted of violating the Public Order Act over the protest who receive 18-month conditional discharges.


May 2004: During prime minister's questions, Tony Blair is hit by a condom filled with purple flour thrown by campaigners from the pressure group Fathers 4 Justice, weeks after a £600,000 new security screen is installed in the chamber. Two men, Ron Davis and Guy Harrison, got in using tickets won at a charity auction. Mr Davis is convicted of disorderly behaviour and given a conditional discharge and fine. Mr Harrison is fined £600. The incident prompts a wide-ranging security review, led by MI5.


March 2004: Two Greenpeace demonstrators climb Big Ben in a protest against the Iraq war. Harry Westaway and his brother Simon scale the landmark on the first anniversary of the invasion on 20 March. The men clear a wall and security fence before climbing the 315ft tower.

The men say beating the defence around Parliament was "easy" - which prompts a security review. They are arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage but are not prosecuted.


February 2004: Anti-war campaigners heckle the prime minister during a debate on Iraq.


December 1996: A pair of young women in the Strangers' Gallery unfurl a banner protesting against arms sales to Indonesia before being bundled out by attendants.


June 1996: A group of demonstrators throw leaflets into the Commons chamber.


February 1988: Three lesbian demonstrators abseil into the Lords during a debate on Section 28 - which bans the "promotion" of homosexuality in schools.


July 1978: Manure is thrown from the public gallery during a Scottish devolution debate.


July 1970: CS gas canisters are thrown into the Commons debating chamber from the public gallery.

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