An action group have called on their MP and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to approve an immediate ceasefire in Gaza after petitioning the public in Northallerton on Wednesday (January 17). 

A small group of peaceful protestors gathered outside the town hall in Northallerton at around 11.15am to ask residents and visitors who lived in Mr Sunak's constituency to sign their petition.

 With a backdrop of banners, signs and Palestinian flags, the group, joined by Palestinian Solidarity members from County Durham, descended on Northallerton on market day to try and get as many signatures as possible.

The Northern Echo: From left to right: John Metson, Patricia Farey, Thea Khamis, Ben ByrneFrom left to right: John Metson, Patricia Farey, Thea Khamis, Ben Byrne (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

This is the first time that the group have petitioned Mr Sunak locally as the MP for the Richmondshire constituency - calling on people who live in the area to 'act now' and 'spark' Mr Sunak into action.

The Northern Echo: The group and their petition in NorthallertonThe group and their petition in Northallerton (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

While the Israel-Hamas war may have begun more than 100 days ago now, the group that protested in Northallerton on Wednesday say that understanding the historic tension in the Middle East is also important when speaking to people about the petition. 

The Northern Echo: Free Palestine signs in NorthallertonFree Palestine signs in Northallerton (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

Patricia Farey, who is from Bedale and a member of the National Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, has attended similar protests in Durham, Darlington, and Newcastle, but says that 'people power' will be the key to getting the government to listen. 

She said: "We're calling on people from the constituency to help - we need to pressure Rishi Sunak for an immediate ceasefire. 

The Northern Echo: The letters of 'Ceasefire Now' in NorthallertonThe letters of 'Ceasefire Now' in Northallerton (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

"There are still plenty of people out there that don't know the full situation or don't want to know - but we must act now."

During the peaceful protest in Northallerton, the group collected numerous signatures to their petition and spoke to numerous more about the conflict. 


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John Metson, who is a member of the County Durham Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, has urged people to put pressure on their elected officials, both council-based and parliamentary-based.

He added: "We've been part of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign for years - but we need the government to stop aiding Israel - and call an immediate ceasefire."

Alongside its peaceful protest in Northallerton on Wednesday, there was some suggestion that further protests in Richmond and Bedale could take place to put pressure on Mr Sunak.