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Tories’ extremism redefinition a ‘glaring display of hypocrisy’  – Liz Saville Roberts

14 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Liz Saville Roberts. Photo Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, has accused the Conservative Government of a “glaring display of hypocrisy” following the unveiling of a new definition of extremism earlier today (14 March).

Groups covered by the definition, which is designed to include conduct that falls short of criminality but is still deemed “unacceptable”, will be denied access to UK Government funding and prevented from meeting ministers and officials or gaining a platform that could “legitimise” them through association with the Government.

The definition, announced by Michael Gove, the communities secretary, describes extremism as “the promotion or advancement of an ideology based on violence, hatred or intolerance” that aims to “negate or destroy the fundamental rights and freedoms of others” or “undermine, overturn or replace the UK’s system of liberal parliamentary democracy and democratic rights”.

It also includes those who “intentionally create a permissive environment for others to achieve” either of those aims.

Undermining democracy

Plaid Cymru has criticised the Conservatives for “repeatedly” undermining democracy and provided several examples of the Conservatives’ “hypocrisy”, including the refusal to return £10 million in donations from a racist donor, the unlawful prorogation of Parliament, and the “systematic” undermining of Welsh and Scottish democracy.

Liz Saville Roberts said: “The Tory government’s audacious attempt to redefine extremism by including those who challenge the UK’s liberal parliamentary democracy is a glaring display of hypocrisy.

“This comes from the party that has repeatedly undermined democracy. It is the party that unlawfully prorogued Parliament, lied to the Head of State about doing so, systematically undermines Welsh and Scottish democracy, casually misleads Parliament, and has curtailed citizens’ right to protest.

“To make things worse, it is happy to keep £10 million in donations from a racist donor who said that Diane Abbott, a black female MP, should be shot.

“The Conservatives’ brazen hypocrisy is plain for all to see. It’s time to bring this tired farce to a close with a General Election.”

‘Christian forgiveness’

Michael Gove has suggested businessman Frank Hester, a prominent Tory donor, would not be referred to the Government’s new extremism taskforce after his alleged call for an MP to be “shot”.

Mr Hester is alleged to have said that Diane Abbott, Britain’s first black female MP, made him “want to hate all black women” and that she “should be shot”, in comments the Prime Minister described as “racist” after initially refusing to do so.

Cabinet minister Mr Gove described the remarks as “horrific” but said he was exercising “Christian forgiveness” after the entrepreneur had “shown contrition”.

Plaid Cymru’s examples of Tories’ attacks on democracy include:

  • Boris Johnson’s unlawful prorogation of parliament in 2019
  • Damaging devolved powers through the Internal Markets Act 2020
  • Bypassing devolved administrations for Levelling Up funding allocations
  • Curtailing the right to protest through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022
  • Curtailing the right to strike through the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023
  • Ministers lying to Parliament with limited consequences
  • Avoiding parliamentary scrutiny of decisions by using Statutory Instruments – such increasing the Immigration Health Charge
  • Undermining citizens’ democratic voice via the UK Elections Bill, including changing donation and spending rules, introducing mandatory voter ID
  • Limiting scrutiny from Wales by reducing the number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 32
  • Keeping a £10 million donation from a donor who made racist, sexist and threatening remarks about Diane Abbott MP

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago

Ask them Liz, when is a £15 million donation out of profits from government contracts not a kickback…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Seriously, £15million spare is outrageous overcharging of the public purse, does anybody give a damn anymore…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago

A big hand for the BBC’ s Moral Maze team…

Some Buerk landed us with a Mr Whitehouse/Gove for supreme leader’s Sunak’s Moral Compass…One flew over the cuckoo’s nest…power corrupts…Gove never sleeps apparently…

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
4 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Well done Liz. Perhaps the Tories should start by rooting out the extremists in the Cabinet. That at least would take less time than rooting out the extremists in the Tory Party which could take for ever.

4 months ago

Well said Liz.
I irony for me is that I see the the Conservstive Party as extremists but now they are extremists by their own definition.

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