It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Blair attacked in Commons, Hit with purple paint powder...

page: 1

log in


posted on May, 19 2004 @ 07:51 PM

Tony Blair was hit with a flour bomb as he spoke in the Commons today - sparking a full-scale security scare.

A barrier recently installed to shield MPs against a possible terror attack from powdered anthrax failed to protect the Prime Minister.

The flour, which had been dyed purple, was in two condoms thrown from a gallery by a protester.

One hit Mr Blair's shoulder and scattered powder over the back of his jacket. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, Chancellor Gordon Brown and Health Secretary John Reid were also splattered.

One MP clutched a handkerchief over his mouth in fear as the purple powder formed a cloud in the air. A dozen MPs were seen brushing it off their jackets.

Speaker Michael Martin immediately suspended the sitting and the chamber was evacuated. Members of the Cabinet were taken to a room behind the Speaker's chair. Police officers put on chemical warfare suits while the powder was analysed. Mr Blair looked unperturbed but security officials are aghast that a possible attacker had succeeded in getting so close.

The protest involved two men, one of whom threw the missiles while another held up a placard.

The men, from the pressure group Fathers 4 Justice, were in the West Gallery - a balcony normally reserved for guests of MPs and peers.

The front three rows of the gallery - usually occupied by peers and distinguished guests - are outside the security screen.

The powder was thrown from the corner of the gallery, with the protester rushing forward to the railings to hurl it into the chamber.

The men were grabbed by security staff and bundled out. One of t hem wa s named by the group as father o f two Ron Davies. Fathers 4 Justice said they used selfraising f lour and purple was chosen because it is the international colour for equality.

The men had been signed in by Baroness Golding. The Labour peer made a tearful apology in the House of Lords. She said she was "deeply distressed" by the incident.

A witness who was in the gallery said: "She thought they were from a charity and obviously didn't realise they were from Fathers 4 Justice. She was going to give them lunch."

Mr Blair's spokesman said the Prime Minister went into his office and took off his stained jacket.

The aide said: "His first question was, 'When can we go back in there again?'" He said Mr Blair said he was "not shaken" by the attack and went immediately to his office to work and meet colleagues.

The flour bomb was thrown at 12.18. The Commons reconvened at 1.30 when Mr Martin delivered a stern lecture on security. Mr Martin suspended the right of peers to admit guests until further notice. And he reminded MPs they were responsible for the good character of their guests.

Mr Martin added: "I am pleased to inform the House that after detailed examination the substance has been found not to be harmful.

"I and the authorities in the House will review the way in which this incident has been dealt with to ensure all appropriate procedures are followed, if necessary, in the future."

An investigation was launched into how the men got through security meant to counter the threat of chemical or biological weapons.

The probe will try to cover whether Commons authorities acted correctly by allowing MPs to leave so quickly, before it was established whether the powder was dangerous or not.

Some MPs said they should have locked the doors to prevent other people being contaminated.

Commons leader Peter Hain said: "This was a serious incident. I have asked for an immediate report on the circumstances."

Senior Tory MP Derek Conway called for tighter checks on visitors. Mr Conway said: "This is not about protecting Tony Blair, it is about protecting the Government."

He said that it was " regrettable" but Parliament would have to "look seriously" at banning the public from the Commons chamber.

Conservative MP Alan Duncan said: "The world is now such that however valid their protest, this is not excusable. Nothing less than a prison sentence is sufficient."

this is crazy...

i wish sum1 hit bush

new topics

log in