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Mob Rule Replacing Democratic Rule, UK PM Sunak Warns Police

“I am going to do whatever it requires to protect our democracy and our values that we hold dear.”

Britain’s newly appointed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivers a speech outside 10 Downing Street in central London, on October 25, 2022. – Rishi Sunak was Tuesday appointed as Britain’s third prime minister this year, after outgoing leader Liz Truss submitted her resignation to King Charles III. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has warned police chiefs of a “growing consensus that mob rule is replacing democratic rule”.

He said he wanted more robust police responses that he says are needed to protect politicians and democratic processes.

This includes an “immediate response” from police to intimidatory protest at MPs’ homes.

But human rights group Amnesty International says the PM “wildly exaggerates the issue”.

Sunak was speaking the day after the Home Office announced a £31m package aimed at protecting MPs, stating it was in response to the impact of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

Mass and largely peaceful demonstrations have been taking place across the UK since the 7 October attacks on Israel by Hamas and when Israel began its military assault in response to destroy the group in Gaza.

Now police bosses have been summoned to Downing Street, where the PM urged them to use existing powers to crack down on intimidation, disruption and subversion “urgently”.

He said: “We simply cannot allow this pattern of increasingly violent and intimidatory behaviour which is, as far as anyone can see, intended to shout down free debate and stop elected representatives doing their job.

“That is simply undemocratic… I am going to do whatever it requires to protect our democracy and our values that we all hold dear.

“That is what the public expect. It is fundamental to our democratic system. And also it is vital for maintaining public confidence in the police.”

Mass and largely peaceful demonstrations have been taking place across the UK since the 7 October attacks on Israel by Hamas and when Israel began its military assault in response to destroy the group in Gaza.

Police are being advised that protests outside MPs’ homes and offices should generally be considered intimidatory and therefore “trigger an immediate response”.

A Home Office document stated: “Elected representatives have been threatened and had their family homes targeted. Council meetings have been repeatedly disrupted and, in some cases, abandoned… Last Wednesday, protestors threatened to force Parliament to “lock its doors”.

“These are not isolated incidents or legitimate means of achieving change through force of peaceful argument. It is as un-British as it is undemocratic.

“If public confidence is to be maintained and the integrity of the democratic process is to be preserved, it cannot be allowed to stand.”

One of the groups behind the demonstrations, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, has said it does not support protests outside MPs’ homes but has defended the right to stage peaceful protests outside MPs’ offices and council chambers.

The Labour Party is understood to believe the proposals are sensible but the PM’s language is not.

Conservative Donna Jones, the chairwoman of Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said the police do currently have enough powers and have been using them to arrest protesters.

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