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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 September, 2004, 19:44 GMT 20:44 UK
Blair is told of 'blood on hands'
Tony Blair
Tony Blair was interrupted by anti-war and anti-hunting protests
A speech by the Prime Minister to the Labour Party conference was interrupted by a Devon anti-war protester.

Tony Blair was heckled during his keynote speech to the Labour conference in Brighton on Tuesday by Hector Christie, from Bideford.

Mr Christie, 43, who had a pass for the conference as a Labour Party member, said he staged the protest because he believed the war in Iraq was illegal.

He also accused Mr Blair of doing nothing about climate change.

My five-year-old daughter could type his name into the internet and see all the protests he's been involved in
Douglas Paton-Garner

Mr Christie, who said he was from the Torridge and West Devon Constituency Party, shouted: "You've got blood on your hands."

Mr Christie, an outspoken environmentalist and anti-war activist well-known in north Devon for staging protests, was led away by police.

Repeatedly complaining about how tight his handcuffs were, Mr Christie said: "I'm protesting because of the illegal war in Iraq. Tens of thousands of people are being killed unnecessarily. Tens of thousands.

"I am not a serviceman, I know soldiers, friends out there who hate Tony Blair."

He added: "He talks about climate change but he does nothing."

Mr Blair said as Mr Christie was taken away: "That's fine, sir, you can make your protest - just thank goodness we live in a democracy and you can."

Mr Blair was also interrupted briefly by anti-hunting protests.

The incidents came despite heightened security prompted by fears of a terror attack.

'No breach'

Mr Christie later said in a statement he was amazed checks had not identified him as a "known activist with arrests and a short prison sentence".

Douglas Paton-Garner, who lives and works on Mr Christie's Tapley Park estate in Devon, spoke of his "shock" that the protest had succeeded.

Police and party officials stressed all those admitted went through a rigorous airport-style search for weapons or explosives on the way in.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said that as the protesters had passes "there has been no breach of security".




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