THIS WEEK IN 1991: Poll tax jail protesters target Portsmouth Labour offices

Anti-poll tax demonstrators outside the Labour party's local office

Portsmouth Labour councillor Sally Thomas refused to be drawn into a confrontation with angry left-wing socialists who demonstrated outside her surgery.

Cllr Thomas (Havelock) put on a brave face when two of the demonstrators handed her a 500-signature petition opposing the jailing of poll tax rebel David Shute in the city.

She made it clear that her morning surgery was not the place to be drawn into an exchange on the rights and wrongs of the jailing.

She said: ‘You have given me your petition.

‘As far as I am concerned our dialogue is finished.’

Before the demonstrators handed the petition over, Cllr Thomas said: ‘There are arenas for political parties to handle dialogue but it is not at an advice centre.’

She was upset members of the Portsmouth branch of the Socialist Workers’ Party had targeted her surgery at the Southsea Labour Party offices in Fawcett Road.

The demonstrators waved placards, posters and banners declaring ‘No jailings, no poll tax. Amnesty now’ and ‘Stop playing the Tory game and stop poll tax jailings’.

They were protesting the jailing for 28-days of Shute for non-payment of his community charge.

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