Minister heckled in Colchester

ANTI-WAR campaigners heckled a senior member of the Government during a visit to Colchester last night.Stephen Twigg, Minister for Young People, was attending a question and answer session with teenagers at an event arranged by Colchester Labour Party,As Mr Twigg entered the Hythe Health and Community Centre in Maudlyn Road, members of the Colchester Peace Campaign (CPC) asked him to join in a minute's silence for children who had died in Iraq.

ANTI-WAR campaigners heckled a senior member of the Government during a visit to Colchester last night.

Stephen Twigg, Minister for Young People, was attending a question and answer session with teenagers at an event arranged by Colchester Labour Party,

As Mr Twigg entered the Hythe Health and Community Centre in Maudlyn Road, members of the Colchester Peace Campaign (CPC) asked him to join in a minute's silence for children who had died in Iraq.

Mr Twigg declined to comment and continued into the centre to attend the question time event.


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Following the refusal, Andy Abbott of the CPC said: "I am disappointed that a Government minister has shown contempt for the lives lost as a result of sanctions and by war."

The protestors carried banners which read "What does Iraq need? Another violent dictator hand picked by the CIA? No."

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A minute's silence was then held by the small group of protestors.

Before Mr Twigg's arrival, Mr Abbott said: "There is an irony that he is the minister for youth and more and more so young people are increasingly the victims of war."

A statement issued by the CPC also claimed: "With billions being spent on the war as the Government continues to squeeze students in our schools, colleges and universities, it shows New Labour has little more regard for the youth of this country.

Mr Twigg went on to attend the question time session which had been organised by Rossanna Trudigan, Colchester Labour Party's youth and student officer, to try and encourage young people to get involved in the democratic process.

Last night, a spokesman for the Labour Party said Mr Twigg attended the meeting because young people in the UK had freedom to debate issues and freely express opinions – something that would one day become an option for people in Iraq.

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