Protestors and police descended on the campaign launch of a controversial County Durham parliamentary hopeful last weekend. 

Pro-Palestine protestors picketed Luke Akehurst's campaign launch in Chester-le-Street on Sunday (June 2). 

Mr Akehurst is standing in the General Election as the Labour candidate for North Durham, after Kevan Jones stepped down following 23 years as the area's MP. 

Official campaign launch for North Durham at Pelton Community Centre

— Luke Akehurst (@lukeakehurst) June 2, 2024

For some, Mr Akehurst cuts a controversial figure. Previously, Mr Akehurst was director of lobbyist group We Believe in Israel, and described himself as a "committed Zionist."

Momentum, the grassroots left wing organisation of the Labour Party, has said he is "not fit to be an MP."

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Police said around 40 people turned up to protest Mr Akehurst's campaign launch, and a scuffle broke out. 

A spokesperson for Durham police said: "Police were called to attend a protest at Pelton Community Centre on Sunday lunchtime, involving up to 40 people. No arrests were made."

The Labour Party declined to comment on the protest, and Luke Akehurst did not respond to requests for a statement.