Far-Right Violence and Online Extremism

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:43 pm on 18th March 2019.

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Photo of Wes Streeting Wes Streeting Labour, Ilford North 4:43 pm, 18th March 2019

I thank the Security Minister again for what he said following the appalling attack in New Zealand and what he said today following the events in this country and the Netherlands over the weekend. Further to the answers he has given to other Members, I want to say, in terms that I think my Muslim constituents would want me to use, that the kind of prejudice that slaughtered innocent people in Christchurch does not begin with a gunman mowing down people in their place of worship. It begins with unchecked prejudice in our workplaces, our schools and our communities, which is amplified in the pages of national mainstream media outlets that should know better. I am afraid it is also legitimised by people who purport to be mainstream politicians and aspire to the highest office who describe Muslim women as “bank robbers” and pillar boxes without any reaction.

On a day when HOPE not hate has called for action from the Conservative party to tackle Islamophobia within its ranks, when Baroness Warsi has again asked her own party to act and when my constituents are looking to the Government to act, they will have no confidence in this Government to tackle the prejudice they face unless they have confidence in the governing party to tackle racism within its own ranks. I say that with humility but great sincerity. Enough is enough. Condemnation in general is nothing compared with specific condemnation. When will the Minister’s party tackle the racists in its ranks, whether in this House or at the grassroots?