Two women have been arrested after protesters pretending to be tourists squirted tomato ketchup on to a statue in the Houses of Parliament.
Members of Palestine Action used tourist passes to enter the Members’ Lobby of the House of Commons.
They targeted a statue of former prime minister Lord Arthur Balfour, signatory of the Balfour Declaration – a 1917 document which pledged the formation of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.
As they sprayed the red condiment, which the group described as fake blood, one demonstrator said on Saturday morning: “Palestinians have suffered for 105 years because of this man, Lord Balfour – he gave away their homeland and it wasn’t his to give.”
The two protesters glued themselves to the statue after squirting the ketchup, before revealing a miniature Palestinian flag and shouting “free Palestine”.
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “Police were alerted at 11.20am on Saturday November 12 to two women who had entered the Parliamentary Estate with tourist tickets.
“They had glued themselves to a statue in the Member’s Lobby in the House of Commons and had thrown ketchup over the statue and a wall.”
Two women were arrested for criminal damage and taken to a London police station, where they remained on Saturday evening.