Sunak has called for a ban on protests at the homes of MPs and stricter measures to address “mob rule”.

Sunak has called for a ban on protests at the homes of MPs and stricter measures to address “mob rule”.

Rishi Sunak aims to stop protests outside of MPs’ residences, expressing concern to high-ranking police officials about the UK’s descent into “rule by the masses”.

The Prime Minister has received backlash from civil rights organizations for his statement calling for stricter measures against protests outside of Parliament, political party offices, and town halls. The measures aim to prevent the interruption of venue use and the spread of alarm, harassment, or distress.

Following a roundtable discussion with police leaders on Wednesday at Downing Street, a decision has been made to address the issue of intimidation towards MPs, candidates, and councillors. Government officials have denounced frequent large-scale demonstrations, which have intensified in light of the Israel-Gaza conflict, as well as disruptive methods employed by organizations like Just Stop Oil.

The government of Downing Street announced that ministers and high-ranking police officials have agreed to follow a new “democratic policing protocol.” This protocol would involve regarding protests outside of MPs’ homes as “intimidatory,” setting a minimum level of police response to demonstrations against MPs, and providing guidance for officers who are tasked with policing protests and other “democratic” events.

During the meeting Sunak told police chiefs they had to demonstrate they would use the powers they already have, saying it was “vital for maintaining public confidence in the police”.

He gave a harsh evaluation of the UK’s political procedures, stating that many believe mob mentality is taking over democracy. He urged for urgent collective action to address this issue.

We must also showcase to the public that you will effectively utilize the authority and legislation currently at your disposal.

The policing protocol stipulated additional patrols and stated that protests at the residences of elected officials should be viewed as intimidating. This measure was deemed necessary to safeguard democratic principles.

Tom Southerden, Director of Law and Human Rights at Amnesty International UK, expressed concern that Sunak’s exaggerated language could result in restrictions on the right to protest. Southerden stated, “The use of terms like ‘mob rule’ greatly magnifies the problem and jeopardizes the legitimacy of peaceful protests.”

“Freedom of expression and assembly are absolutely fundamental rights in any free and fair society. The UK has undergone a major crackdown on protest rights in recent years, with peaceful protest tactics being criminalised and the police being given sweeping powers to prevent protests taking place.”

Previously today, the individuals running the pro-Palestinian demonstrations in central London and the organization Liberty criticized the government and members of Parliament for attempting to limit the right to protest under false allegations and by exaggerating the level of concern surrounding the protests.

According to Ben Jamal, the director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, they do not condone demonstrations at the homes of MPs. However, he believes that a certain message is being used to justify the need for new laws to limit the right to protest, claiming that Islamist extremists are attempting to intimidate and harass MPs.

James Cleverly announced on Tuesday that the government has allocated £31m for initiatives aimed at safeguarding MPs. These measures include hiring private bodyguards to offer 24/7 protection for those at the greatest risk, as well as deploying security guards at constituency events attended by MPs.

Additional patrols will be allocated by authorities to communities deemed at risk of “potential flashpoints” according to the new protocol.

The guidelines state that demonstrations at the residences of elected officials, such as Members of Parliament and councilors, should be viewed as intimidating and that the police have sufficient authority, under section 42 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, to instruct protesters to relocate.

“Protests held at the offices of representatives’ political parties, democratic locations (like parliament or town halls), or political gatherings (such as fundraising events or meetings) should not impede or hinder the use of the venue, attendance at the event, or access to and from it, nor should it cause fear, harassment, or discomfort for those in attendance.”

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Last week at Westminster, there were tumultuous and enraged displays when the House speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, was criticized for disregarding parliamentary protocol in a vote about a Gaza ceasefire due to worries about potential threats against members of parliament.

A government minister, Mike Freer, is speaking out against a new £31m security plan for MPs, stating that it misses the main issue. Despite starting to wear a protective vest at public events and planning to retire from his position due to safety concerns, Freer believes the package does not address the root cause of threats towards MPs.

Freer, who represents a large Jewish community in Finchley and Golders Green in north London, said the extra funding did not address the underlying problem. “I kind of think it’s missing the point,” he told Times Radio. “More security is always welcome, but that’s only dealing with the symptom.


This does not address the underlying issue. What is the reason behind the increase in attacks on members of parliament and demonstrations outside their homes that intimidate their families? These actions may not be directed towards the MP, but towards their family members.

Why must their significant others and offspring endure feelings of fear within their own residence?

Security is certainly necessary, however, if the underlying issue is not addressed, merely increasing security measures will not solve the problem. It will only result in a strong barricade around Members of Parliament. This will ultimately alter the way our democratic system operates.

The residence of Conservative member Tobias Ellwood was recently the subject of protests by pro-Palestine demonstrators. In previous months, the homes of both Sunak and Keir Starmer, the Labour party leader, have also been visited by environmental activists.

In the span of the last eight years, both Jo Cox from the Labour party and David Amess from the Conservative party, who were serving as Members of Parliament (MPs), were killed. As a response to these tragic events, measures were put in place to enhance the safety of parliamentarians.