Anger over anti-war march claiming Britain culpable

A protest outside Downing Street in support of Ukraine after the Russian invasion

A protest outside Downing Street in support of Ukraine after the Russian invasion - Credit: PA

An anti-war protest where a former Norwich councillor is to speak has been denounced after organisers claimed Britain was "playing a provocative role" in the Ukrainian conflict. 

A 'No To War In Ukraine' march has been scheduled for next Wednesday in London with Norwich's Jess Barnard, chairwoman of Young Labour, and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn among those speaking. 

Event organisers described the crisis in Ukraine as "a conflict 30 years in the making" in which "Britain is playing a provocative role". 

Social media posts promoting the gathering add Britain is "talking up war, decrying diplomacy and supplying arms to Ukraine as well as supporting increased military deployments to neighbouring countries". 

County councillor Steve Morphew, leader of the Labour group at Norfolk County Council has called for a cross-party approach to the conflict.

Steve Morphew, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Steve Morphew, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

He referred to the spirit shown by Norwich City Hall being lit up with the colours of Ukraine on Thursday evening.

And Ian Mackie, vice chairman of the county council Conservative group said the march does not reflect the unity of the House of Commons shown by all mainstream political parties. 

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Mr Mackie added: "Ukraine is a sovereign independent country that has been illegally invaded.

"There has been no provocation and there are no excuses whatsoever to justify these actions. This is 2022, not 1942.

"Nobody wants war, however it has come to Ukraine. I think all right-minded individuals stand in full solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

"The prime minister is doing everything he can to support Ukraine and bolster support across our NATO friends.”

County councillor Ian Mackie

County councillor Ian Mackie - Credit: Contributed

The in-person rally is lined up for 6.30pm at Conway Hall in the capital's Red Lion Square. 

Jess Barnard - who is not one of the organisers of the event - refused to comment. 

Young Labour's Jess Barnard helped organise the Ketts Rebellion anti-spiking protest in Prince of Wales Road in November 2021

Young Labour chairwoman Jess Barnard - Credit: Jess Barnard

It comes as the Young Labour social media account on Twitter has been "restricted until further notice" by the Labour Party for becoming "actively detrimental to the party’s core objectives".

Ben Price, leader of the Green party at Norfolk County Council said: "Military intervention and putting British lives at risk is not going to stop Russia in its approach to re-establish the Cold War and Iron Curtain.

"I hope through diplomatic and economic sanctions the people of Russia can stand up to this dictator."

Ben Price, Green Party councillor. Pic: Submitted

Ben Price, Green Party councillor. Pic: Submitted - Credit: Submitted