A defiant Peter Tatchell has hit back at his critics and called for talks with Jeremy Corbyn after he interrupted the Labour leader's speech over the weekend to raise the plight of Syrian civilians.

The veteran human rights campaigner told IBTimes UK that Syria Solidarity UK had put the issue of human rights in the war-torn Middle Eastern country on the public agenda with the stunt.

"We are hoping to bring a dialogue with Corbyn and [Shadow Foreign Secretary] Emily Thornberry to get Labour to champion these issues in parliament," he said.

"It's the right thing to do and if Labour does respond it will win us a lot of public respect and appreciation."

Tatchell and Syria Solidarity UK want Labour to "actively campaign" for a vote in parliament on humanitarian aid drops, sanctions and war crimes charges against the "[Bashar] al-Assad and [Vladimir] Putin regimes".

"Neither Labour or Jeremy are actively campaigning for any of these initiatives, but during the protest I asked Corbyn to press for a parliamentary vote to mandate UK aid drops of food and medicine to besieged civilians," he said.

"Amid the confusion he didn't give any commitment to push for such a vote. He is the leader of the opposition and should be holding the government to account for its inaction.

"Jeremy should be demanding that [Prime Minister] Theresa May and [Foreign Secretary] Boris Johnson agree to allow a vote in parliament on air drop of humanitarian aid."

Tatchell added: "Of course it isn't just up to Labour, the Conservatives and all other parties have to take action."

The demonstration came as Corbyn made a speech in Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, London, to coincide with Human Rights Day.

The Labour leader thanked the demonstrators for "raising the issue" and said Thornberry had made it "absolutely clear that we do think there should be aid given to people in Aleppo, we do think the bombing should end..."

MPs will hold a two-hour-long emergency debate in the House of Commons on Syria today (13 December).

The Speaker of the Commons John Bercow granted the debate after a request from Conservative MP and former International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell and Labour MP Alison McGovern.

The UK government is calling for a "political solution" between Assad and the rebels in Syria.

Europe minister Sir Alan Duncan, speaking at the EU Foreign Affairs Council yesterday, said: "The only solution is a political solution but this will require a change of attitude on the part of the Russians – which we will argue for very strongly in this forum.

"In the meantime, of course, I hope that our presence illustrates that although we are leaving the European Union, while we remain a member, we are going to play the fullest possible part in everything that it is doing."