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Chaos In Parliament: MP Safety Fears Cause Islamic Terrorism To Influence UK Democracy

Threats from Islamists caused chaos in parliament on Wednesday, when the Speaker of the House of Commons broke with convention because he was persuaded of security concerns from Islamic protestors.

This is the stark truth: we have reached a point where MPs are in fear for their safety on Islam-related issues and are voting accordingly.

Breaking Parliamentary Convention

There were extraordinary scenes in parliament on Wednesday after the House of Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, broke with convention and allowed a Labour amendment to a motion proposed by the SNP. SNP and Tory MPs eventually walked out in protest over how the votes were being handled.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle was advised by the House of Commons clerk that this would break convention, but he went ahead anyway. The clerk of the House, Tom Goldsmith, then published a letter to Sir Lindsay to put on record his view that this decision represented “a departure from the long-established convention for dealing with such amendments on Opposition days.” The government’s chief whip is also said to have warned Sir Lindsay against allowing the Labour amendment.

As I write, 57 MPs have signed a motion of no confidence in Sir Lindsay Hoyle, putting pressure on him to resign over the issue. Others have said they will sign it if he hasn’t indicated he will resign by next week.

Sir Lindsay represented the Labour Party as an MP for two decades and is accused of bias in allowing the Labour amendment.

Conflicting Motions

On opposition days, there is opportunity for smaller parties to bring forward motions for debate. The SNP tabled a motion which called for an “immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel” and calls for “an end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.” This language of ‘collective punishment’ implies that Israel is guilty of war crimes. The motion was designed to split the Labour vote with this language.

The Labour amendment adds in a phrase “noting that Israel cannot be expected to cease fighting if Hamas continues with violence” and removes reference to “collective punishment”. It is much more nuanced and designed to enable Labour MPs to unite around it.

Sir Lindsay allowed the Labour amendment which avoided Labour MPs being split on the SNP motion. Labour whips had asked MPs to abstain on the SNP motion, but more than 100 Labour MPs including at least two of his shadow cabinet, had threatened to rebel and vote for the SNP motion. This would have been the biggest rebellion under Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership and caused a serious threat to his leadership.

Security Concerns For MPs

Sir Keir Starmer intervened personally with Sir Lindsay on Wednesday and asked him to allow Labour’s amendment. The Guardian reports that:

“Those briefed on the meeting said the Labour leader warned Hoyle that Labour MPs’ security was at risk. Many had been deluged by criticisms, threats and abuse since abstaining on a similar SNP motion in November. With hundreds of protesters congregating outside parliament, they worried worse might be to come.”  

Crowds of Islamist protesters outside parliament doubtless brought these threats to life. Sir Lindsay allowed the Labour motion out of concern for the safety of Labour MPs in the face of Islamist threats.

Sir Lindsay’s subsequent apology to the House, made clear that his actions were motivated by security concerns. He said:

“I take very seriously—[Interruption.] No, the danger—that is why I wanted everybody to be able to express their views. I am very, very concerned about the security of all Members. [Interruption.] I was very concerned, I am still concerned, and that is why the meetings I have had today were about the security of Members, their families and the people involved.”

So now we have the Speaker of the House justifying breaking parliamentary convention because of security threats to MPs from Islamists.

Today he elaborated further stating that: “The details of the things that have been brought to me are absolutely frightening on all members of this house on all sides. I have a duty of care, and I say that, and if my mistake is looking after members then I am guilty.”

Journalist Dan Hodges said he spoke to an MP who told him that “he had weighed up his own physical safety when deciding on how to vote on yesterday’s Gaza motion.” That is, he had allowed his vote to be swayed by Islamist terrorism. How many other MPs are in this position?

The Crown Prosecution Service definition of terrorism states that: “The use or threat must also be for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.”

Islamist terrorism has influenced parliament.

MPs Threatened

Just last month Mike Freer MP announced that he would step down at the next election over fears for his safety. He described how he had death threats and “a constant string of incidents” including a suspected arson attack on his office over Christmas. He said that: “The level of abuse I get for standing up for my constituents on antisemitism and on Israel has to be a factor.”

Back in 2021, Sir David Amess MP was assassinated by an Islamist citing Islamic motives. Prior to that, in 2010, Stephen Timms MP narrowly survived an assassination attempt by a Muslim woman with Islamic motives.

MPs who dare to speak out against Islam or to side with Israel in the Gaza conflict are clearly targets. This is influencing our democracy.

Government Not Tackling Islamist Terrorism

Coincidently, these events in parliament came as the independent review of the government’s counter terror programme, Prevent, warned that Islamist extremism is not being effectively tackled by the government. William Shawcross said that there was bias within Prevent towards tackling Right-wing terrorism rather than the main threat of Islamist terrorism. He said:

“One of the reasons why there is sometimes a reluctance to address the Islamist threat is that people are frightened of being called Islamophobic or racist. It’s become a hugely effective form of censorship: ‘Oh, you’re just a racist. You’re an Islamophobe.’ And people don’t like that for obvious reasons.”

He added that the government had failed to issue guidance to combat the way blasphemy is being used by Muslims to censor free speech and silence critics of Islamist extremism. He mentioned the Batley Grammar School teacher who remains in hiding after showing pupils a cartoon of Muhammad in a lesson about free speech.

Fear Of Islam

Sir Keir pushed the Speaker of the House to break parliamentary convention over fears of threats from Islamists to MPs. This is very telling of what Sir Keir will be like if he becomes Prime Minister. He is afraid of the Islamist mob. His MPs are afraid too. They dare not fall foul of the Islamists.

Let us remember that the Labour Party has formally adopted the APPG definition of ‘Islamophobia’ which is an effective Islamic blasphemy code. All Labour MPs know that they could be thrown out of the party for criticising Islam. The same applies to MPs from all the other mainstream parties except for the Conservatives.

Late last year, MPs debated Islamophobia with multiple calls from MPs for the government to formally adopt the APPG definition. In office, Labour would be under pressure from Islamists to make this law. Once we can no longer legally speak the truth about Islam, a line has been crossed which will be very difficult to reverse.

It is precisely because of fear of being accused of Islamophobia that Islamist terrorism is not being tackled by the government, as Shawcross said. How much worse will this get with a legal definition?

Islamic Influence Increasing

We are now living in a country where democracy is held hostage by Islamist threats. Parliamentary convention has been broken because of Islamist security concerns for MPs. At least one MP has admitted he allowed Islamist threats to sway his vote. Another MP has stood down over safety concerns. Another has been assassinated. A teacher remains in hiding for displaying a cartoon.

Robert Jenrick MP said in parliament: “The real issue is that this house appears cowed by threats of violence and intimidation. The mother of parliaments appears weakened and diminished as a result. We have allowed our streets to be dominated by Islamist extremists, and British Jews and others to be too intimidated to walk through central London week after week. And now we are allowing Islamic extremists to intimidate British members of parliament.”

Does that look like a Christian country with a peaceful functioning democracy? Hardly. Islamic influence is only increasing. It will take more courage than we see in parliament right now to change this.

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