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Rishi Sunak Says Intimidation Of MPs Threatens Democracy And Is "Unacceptable"


3 min read

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said it is "unacceptable" for MPs to feel threatened in their jobs, and that a growing sense of intimidation of politicians is a threat to democracy.

Ahead of a speech to Welsh Conservative Party conference in North Wales on Friday morning, Sunak addressed the issue of MP safety, which has again risen in prominence this week after a row over an opposition day motion on a Gaza ceasefire was inflamed by the Speaker's unusual decision to alter Commons procedure with the aim of protecting MPs subject to threats. 

Sunak said it was right to ensure the safety of MPs to allow society to be able to function smoothly.

"People need to be able to raise their views and debate things without the fear of being intimidated or indeed attacked," he said. 

"And that’s why we’re giving police more powers to clamp down on protests. It’s simply unacceptable for intimidation or aggressive behaviour to threaten our parliamentary democracy and our freedom of expression.

"And some of the scenes we’ve been seeing in recent months, particularly antisemitic behaviour, are appalling and unacceptable. That’s why we’re giving the police more powers and I expect them to use them to make sure we clamp down on all of this."

In his conference speech Sunak criticised the Welsh Labour administration while he also spoke about the Government's record on the economy, which he said had begun to turn a corner and claimed the public should see the "green shoots" of a recovery.

“I see it from going out and about across the country every week talking to people. And there is a palpable sense out there, regardless of what Keir Starmer might want to say because he is always keen to talk down Britain," he said. 

"I can tell actually on the ground, people are at the beginning of this year feeling that the economy has turned a corner. They do see those green shoots. They can see that things are getting better, inflation has been more than halved.”

Last week the Office for National Statistics confirmed that the UK fell into recession last year, after the economy contracted in two consecutive quarters in 2023.

Sunak said there was "no doubt" the last couple of years had been difficult for the country, and referred to how the war in Ukraine and the Covid backlogs had impacted prices and people's energy bills. 

"Our plan is now starting to deliver real benefits for people. The tax cut that we've announced, that the chancellor announced last year, is already benefiting millions of people across the country in their pay packets in January," he said.

Sunak also said education was the closest thing the UK had to a "silver bullet" to transform people's lives, and claimed it was one of the main reasons which drove him into politics. 

"If you can create a world class education system, that is the best thing you can do to transform people's lives," he said. 

"That starts with our schools. The performance of Welsh schools under the last Labour Government has just got worse and worse.

"And whereas in England, because of the reforms of the Conservative government in the past several years, we have marked up all the international league tables."


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