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Labour MP slammed after calling for ‘deeply troubling’ crackdown on far-right groups | Politics | News

A Labour MP has called for a ban on far-right groups after riots broke outside hotels housing migrants. Sir George Howarth, Labour MP for Knowsley, called for a clampdown on groups such as Patriotic Alternative, Yorkshire Rose and Britain First.

Last month, violence broke out outside a hotel housing asylum seekers in Knowsley.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Sir George said: “This isn’t typical of the people of Knowsley or Kirby who are not bigoted, racist or unwelcoming.

“I do have concerns about the involvement of far-right groups from outside of Knowsley such as Patriotic Alternative, Yorkshire Rose and Britain First in promoting that event and seeking to stir up racial hatred in our country.”

Posing an urgent question to Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick, Sir George asked whether the Government is considering proscribing these organisations, which would make it illegal to be a member or to encourage support.

The MP added: “Does he agree with me in these circumstances that some social media sites are used for poison and misinformation?”

In response, Mr Jenrick said the Government will be “monitoring them very closely including the social media content that they and their supporters are perpetuating.”

He added: “There have been some vile posts in recent days, including some vile posts about members of this House for no good reason.

“Again, we are monitoring that social media content. We raise it with the police and they raise it with social media companies through the appropriate channels.”

But Conservative MP Henry Smith said Sir George’s remarks were “deeply troubling”.

He told Talk TV: “It’s important that people, when they are concerned about a policy, actually demonstrate their strength of feeling to say that they are worried about mass migration into his country with seemingly very little checks at all.

“People of course should stay within the law – there is no room for violence – but the idea that somehow we should be closing down expression of free speech, when people are concerned about something, is deeply troubling.

“People legitimately are worried about mass migration, the security threat there is to this country of that, the unfairness of that, the fact that it’s very dangerous and is exploiting people and helping criminal gangs, people are expressing their concern about possible criminals entering the country through that route and they have every right to do so and their freedom of speech should be protected.

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Mr Sunak announced a swathe of new policies to tackle migration in a statement to MPs at the start of December.

Addressing MPs in December, Mr Sunak set out a five-point plan to deal with illegal migration and help speed up the assessment of claims from countries deemed “safe”.

It included “significantly” raising the threshold someone has to meet before being considered trafficked as a slave and processing claims from Albanian nationals in “weeks instead of months”.

He said that illegal migration is “unfair on the British people who play by the rules”.

The Prime Minister said “enough is enough”, adding: “It is not cruel or unkind to want to break the stranglehold of the criminal gangs who trade in human misery and who exploit our system and laws.”

The last set of migration figures, published in November last year, show that net migration rose to 504,000 in the year to June 2022.

Net migration for the year ending June 2015 – the year before the UK voted to leave the EU – was 336,000.



*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.