British PM Rishi Sunak denounces protesters ‘trying to tear us apart’

The thin blue line of London police face off a far-right mob opposed to a multicultural Britain.

The thin blue line of London police face off a far-right mob opposed to a multicultural Britain. Photo: AAP

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says Britain is pushed to the brink of societal collapse by Islamist and far-right extremists deliberately underming the nation’s multi-ethnic democracy.

UK MPs this week have been given funding for new security provisions after some faced threats for expressing support for Israel in its war with Hamas.

Calling for a tougher approach to policing protests in light of an increase in hate speech and criminality, Sunak voiced the fear that “our great achievement in building the world’s most successful multi-ethnic multi-faith democracy is being deliberately undermined,”

Speaking outside his Downing Street office, he lamented what he called a “shocking increase in extremist disruption and criminality” by “forces here at home trying to tear us apart”.

Gaza has been bombarded by Israeli forces for months since the Palestinian militant group’s deadly rampage in southern Israel on October 7.

Sunak said that people had the right to protest and demand the protection of civilian life in Gaza but could not use that cause to justify the support of Hamas, a proscribed group, and said he wanted police to “not merely manage these protests but police them”.

‘Intimidation, threats and violence’

He added that “Islamist extremists and the far-right feed off and embolden each other” and were “two sides of the same extremist coin”.

He said that people in the country on visas would have their right to be in the UK removed if they “choose to spew hate”.

Sunak, who has supported Israel’s right to respond to Hamas, said that the election of veteran progressive George Galloway to a parliamentary seat was “beyond alarming” and accused him of dismissing the October 7 attack.

Responding to Sunak’s comments in an interview with Channel 5, Galloway said he had been assaulted himself in 2014.

“I’m as much against extremism and violence as anyone else and probably a little more so given my personal experience,” he said.

Sunak said “what started as protests on our streets have descended into intimidation, threats and planned acts of violence.

“Jewish children, fearful to wear their school uniform lest it reveals their identity. Muslim women abused in the street for the actions of a terrorist group they have no connection with.

‘Democracy itself is a target’

“Now our democracy itself is a target. Council meetings and local events have been stormed. MPs do not feel safe in their homes. Long-standing parliamentary conventions have been upended because of safety concerns.”

Sunak cited events in parliament last week, when the Speaker Lindsay Hoyle broke with precedent to allow a vote that helped the opposition Labour Party avoid a large-scale rebellion among its own MPs over its position on the Israel-Hamas war, causing other parties to walk out.

Hoyle later apologised and said that threats to MPs had motivated his decision to allow them to express a range of views.

Sunak has called on all sides to “take the heat” out of the issue but some Conservatives have been accused of Islamophobia in their responses.

They deny the charge.

“The time has now come for us all to stand together to combat the forces of division and beat this poison,” Sunak said.

“We must face down the extremists who would tear us apart.”


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