‘Mob rule’ replacing democracy in UK, warns Sunak after chaotic parliament debate over Gaza war

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak looks on during a media visit to Harlow Police Station in Essex, England, February 16, 2024. (Dan Kitwood/Pool Photo via AP)
Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak looks on during a media visit to Harlow Police Station in Essex, England, February 16, 2024. (Dan Kitwood/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain is descending into “mob rule” and police will do more to protect the country’s democracy, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says, after the government announced extra funding to keep lawmakers safe.

Many British lawmakers have said the abuse directed at them has become more intense since the October 7 Hamas terror onslaught against Israel that sparked the war in Gaza, with some fearing for their safety if they air their views on the conflict.

Last week, parliament descended into chaos as tensions flared over a vote on Gaza, with the House of Commons speaker citing “frightening” threats against lawmakers for a decision to break with usual parliamentary procedure.

“There is a growing consensus that mob rule is replacing democratic rule. And we’ve got to collectively, all of us, change that urgently,” Sunak says at a meeting with police chiefs on Wednesday, according to remarks released by his office.

“We simply cannot allow this pattern of increasingly violent and intimidatory behavior 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.”

Earlier, the interior ministry announced funding worth 31 million pounds ($39 million) to provide additional security for lawmakers and other officials.

Sunak says a new Democratic Policing Protocol would commit to extra patrols and make clear that protests at the homes of elected representatives should be treated as intimidatory.

It also makes clear that from now on police should take a “consistent and robust approach… to protect our democratic processes from intimidation, disruption, from subversion,” he says.

Most Popular