Rishi Sunak warns British democracy being focused by far-right and Islamists | EUROtoday

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Rishi Sunak has mentioned democracy is below assault from far-right and Islamist extremists as he urged the nation to unite to beat the “poison”.

In a rare transfer, the prime minister used a swiftly organized press convention outdoors No 10 yesterday to announce a brand new crackdown on extremism and attraction to the general public to face down these he mentioned had been “trying to tear us apart”.

Just hours after George Galloway’s victory within the Rochdale by-election, he mentioned it was “beyond alarming” voters had backed a candidate who “dismisses the horror of what happened on October 7”, when Hamas murdered 1,200 individuals in Israel.

Earlier, the Board of Deputies of British Jews condemned Mr Galloway’s win as a “dark day” for the UK’s Jewish group, whereas Labour apologised for not campaigning in opposition to him in Rochdale.

Mr Sunak introduced ministers would redouble help for the anti-terrorism Prevent programme, demand universities cease extremist exercise on campus and stop individuals coming into the UK whose “aim is to undermine its values”.

In remarks more likely to be seen as extra controversial, Mr Sunk additionally urged the general public to reject when extremists ”declare that Britain is and has been on the incorrect aspect of historical past”.

He mentioned: “No country is perfect, but I am enormously proud of the good that our country has done.

“And when these groups… tell children that the system is rigged against them or that Britain is a racist country… This is not only a lie, but a cynical attempt to crush young dreams, and turn impressionistic minds against their own society.”

Home secretary James Cleverly has additionally been instructed that these within the UK on visas who select to “spew hate” could have their proper to be within the nation eliminated.

The Labour chief backed Mr Sunak’s intervention, saying: “The prime minister is right to advocate unity and to condemn the unacceptable and intimidatory behaviour that we have seen recently.”

But Conservative peer Lord Vaizey mentioned “many in the Tory party should look to themselves” with regards to the toxification of public life after accusations it has stoked division on points from Brexit to asylum seekers.

Labour additionally lashed out on the new MP as somebody who’s “only interested in stoking fear and division”.

The celebration had dropped its personal candidate for making antisemitic remarks, leaving the door open for Mr Galloway, an alleged antisemite infamous for stoking division and courting controversy.

Sir Keir Starmer mentioned following the consequence: “Galloway only won because Labour didn’t stand a candidate. I regret that we had to withdraw a candidate and apologise to voters in Rochdale. But I took that decision. It was the right decision.

“And when I say I changed the Labour Party, I mean it. Obviously we will put a first-class candidate, a unifier, before the voters in Rochdale at the general election.”

A Labour spokesman added: “Rochdale deserved the chance to vote for an MP that would bring communities together and deliver for working people.

“George Galloway is only interested in stoking fear and division. As an MP he will be a damaging force in our communities and public life.”

George Galloway gave a victory speech after his Workers Party gained the Rochdale by-election

(PA)

As the implications of Mr Galloway’s return to parliament grew to become clear:

  • The Board of Deputies of British Jews mentioned it was a “dark day” for the UK’s Jewish group
  • Mr Sunak mentioned the marketing campaign for the Rochdale by-election was “one of the most divisive in recent times”
  • Senior Tory MPs referred to as for politicians from all sides of the spectrum to cease inflaming public tensions
  • Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham mentioned Labour had “let the people of Rochdale down”
  • Mr Galloway mentioned the “zionist apartheid state of Israel” has no proper to exist
  • His deputy, former Labour MP Chris Williamson, refused to sentence the Hamas 7 October terror assaults

Mr Galloway’s Workers Party of Great Britain gained with just below 40 per cent of the vote, a majority of 5,697 over second-placed David Tully, an area businessman and unbiased candidate.

In his victory speech, Mr Galloway mentioned: “Keir Starmer, this is for Gaza.” It echoed the message Mr Galloway despatched upon his 2005 win within the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency, when he mentioned: “Mr Blair, this is for Iraq.”

He added: “You have paid, and you will pay, a high price for the role that you have played in enabling, encouraging and covering for the catastrophe presently going on in occupied Palestine in the Gaza Strip.”

A spokesperson for the Board of Deputies of British Jews mentioned: “George Galloway is a demagogue and conspiracy theorist who has brought the politics of division and hate to every place he has ever stood for Parliament.

“His election is a dark day for the Jewish community in this country and for British politics in general.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Campaign Against Antisemitism mentioned: “George Galloway is an inflammatory firebrand with an atrocious record of baiting the Jewish community.

“His endurance in our public life serves to exploit extremist sentiment and divide communities.”

Asked if Mr Galloway’s election win would inflame tensions, the prime minister mentioned: “It was very regarding to see the experiences of intimidation by the by-election, and by all accounts one of the crucial divisive campaigns that we’ve seen in latest occasions.”

And in a sign of the controversy to come after Mr Galloway’s return, his deputy yesterday morning refused to condemn the 7 October Hamas terror attacks on Israel.

Former Labour MP Chris Williamson, who was suspended from the party for claiming it had “given too much ground” and been “too apologetic” in tackling antisemitism, is now the deputy leader of Mr Galloway’s Workers Party of Britain.

The Jeremy Corbyn ally told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “You can’t expect to live in a situation where people have been oppressed for 75 years and not expect a reaction.”

He added: “In international law, oppressed peoples have an absolute right to armed resistance,” before going on to claim that the majority of those innocent people killed on 7 October were killed by Israeli forces.

Labour’s deputy national campaign coordinator Ellie Reeves said she was “utterly appalled by Mr Williamson’s failure to condemn Hamas attacks on the seventh of October, and likewise his failure to distance his party from the endorsement of [former president of the far-right British National Party] Nick Griffin”.

And, in comments likely to further inflame tensions amid Israel’s war on Gaza, Mr Galloway went on to tell Sky News that the “zionist apartheid state of Israel” has no right to exist.

Top Tories came together to warn tensions are already running high and stress the importance of taking the heat out of political debate.

Senior Conservative MP David Davis, who will introduce Mr Galloway alongside Jeremy Corbyn in the House of Commons on Monday, said “the temperature of politics has got very high”.

And Mr Davis said Mr Galloway serves as “a sharp reminder” that “if we want to make progress as a democracy you have to be able to debate in civilised terms and accept that other people have real differences from you”.

The former cabinet minister told The Independent: “The general temperature of politics has got very high… even intra-party as well as between parties.

“For democracy to operate properly we have to be able to reach a decision and ideally build a consensus or very solid majority around that, and that has not been happening for years.”

And former justice secretary Sir Robert Buckland said Mr Galloway’s election should was “all about divisiveness”, adding that it should serve as “a general call to arms” to take the heat out of political debate.

Speaking after visiting a sixth form college, Sir Robert told The Independent that “we owe an example to the next generation to do our politics better”.

“That does not mean no disagreement or argument, of course it means lively debate, but disagreeing agreeably as we have done in Britain for generations.”

He added: “The more we spread the language of divisiveness and otherness and hate, the more you’ll see politicians like Jo Cox losing their lives or David Amess losing their lives, and the darker and sadder a place our political life will be…

“And that’s why last night was a profoundly depressing result, frankly.”

And Sir Robert described Mr Galloway as a “demagogue” who “comes and goes and leaves damage in his wake”.

And he said all sides of the political spectrum have been guilty of furthering public division and that politics should be about “solutions”, not trying to “inflame” debate.

And Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said Labour had “let the people of Rochdale down because it didn’t give them a good enough choice”.

And, in a warning to Mr Galloway, Mr Burnham warned that he will “stand up to anybody who seeks to bring division or hate to our city region”.

Left-wing marketing campaign group Momentum blamed the consequence on Keir Starmer’s ‘failure to stand with Gaza in its hour of need’

(PA Wire)

Left-wing stress group Momentum described Labour’s Rochdale by-election outcomes as “self-inflicted”. A spokesperson for the group mentioned: “This was a needless and self-inflicted loss for Labour.

“First, (Labour leader Sir Keir) Starmer’s utterly factional selection processes resulted in a candidate who was clearly unfit for office. Then the Labour leadership tried to defend him as one of their own.

“Finally, Keir Starmer’s failure to stand with Gaza in its hour of need left the door open for George Galloway.

“To avoid any more damaging repeats, Starmer should end the factional abuse of Labour’s selection processes and stand up for an immediate, permanent ceasefire in Gaza.”

The Rochdale marketing campaign has been mired in controversy and claims of intimidation and divisive techniques.

Labour withdrew help for its candidate, Azhar Ali, after a recording emerged during which he claimed Israel was complicit within the terrorist assaults of seven October, seeing Mr Galloway grow to be the agency favorite for the seat.

Mr Ali remained listed because the Labour candidate because the celebration’s determination got here too late for poll papers to be modified.

Labour mentioned it “will quickly begin the process to select a new Labour candidate for the general election”.

Nigel Farage’s Reform UK additionally suffered a poor consequence within the seat, gaining simply 6 per cent of the vote, a lot decrease than its nationwide ballot score of round 10 per cent. Leader Richard Tice claimed his candidate, former Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, had obtained a demise menace through the marketing campaign and mentioned his celebration’s marketing campaign group had been topic to “daily intimidation and slurs”.

Pollster Luke Tryl, of More in Common, mentioned the outcomes had been “terrible” for all the principle events. He pointed to the efficiency of second-placed Mr Tully as nearly extra important than Mr Galloway’s win.

“But the circumstances mean it is far more likely the lesson here is one about candidate selection and due diligence than about public opinion more broadly,” he added.

Labour’s Ellie Reeves mentioned the celebration is not going to change its place on Gaza regardless of Mr Galloway warning after the by-election consequence it should pay “a high price” nationally.

She instructed Sky News: “We’ve set out our position on Gaza and that was adopted by the Commons just the other week.

“We’ve said there should be an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, that the loss of life has been intolerable, there must be no ground offensive in Rafah, aid has to be ramped up into the region, and, importantly, that we need to find a two-state solution.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/george-galloway-rochdale-labour-byelection-b2505228.html