UK ministers urged to ban MPs engaging with pro-Palestine groups

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UK ministers urged to ban MPs engaging with pro-Palestine groups

Lord Walney urges Rishi Sunak to back move for MPs to take 'zero tolerance approach' to PSC until they get their house in order and cut the hate from their marches.

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Apsana Begum speaks at PSC demo
Apsana Begum speaks at PSC demo

Ministers have been urged to consider proposals to ban MPs and councillors from engaging with groups such as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil.

The plans have been put forward by the government’s adviser on political violence John Woodcock, who now sits as Lord Walney, who said mainstream political leaders should tell their representatives to employ a “zero-tolerance approach” to groups that use disruptive tactics or fail to stop “hate” on marches.

Walney, now a crossbench peer, wrote in the Sun on Sunday: “My review on political violence is about to be formally submitted to the prime minister and the home secretary. In it, I am asking the leader of every mainstream political party to take a zero-tolerance approach to the menace that is threatening our democracy.

“So Rishi and Keir [Starmer] should instruct their MPs and councillors not to engage with anyone from the PSC until they get their house in order and cut the hate from their marches.”

It follows a speech outside Downing Street on Friday by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who said “forces here at home trying to tear us apart.

On Wednesday he had warned of “mob rule” in the UK after referencing pro-Palestine protests.

While the Labour front bench has stayed away from Palestine Solidarity Campaign protests, backbenchers including the former shadow chancellor John McDonnell and the MP for Poplar and Limehouse, Apsana Begum.

Sunak and James Cleverly, the home secretary, are due to meet to discuss Lord Walney’s proposals.

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