Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Keir Starmer

“There is a growing consensus that mob rule is replacing democratic rule”

PM Rishi Sunak, Meeting with Senior Police Officers

Facts

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was calling for an end to demonstrations outside of MP’s homes. In a meeting with police chiefs at Downing Street, Rishi Sunak said “There is a growing consensus that mob rule is replacing democratic rule. And we’ve got to collectively, all of us, change that urgently”

The definition of mob rule is the “control of a political situation by those outside the conventional or lawful realm, typically involving violence and intimidation.”

In December 2023 climate protestors sang environmental Christmas carols outside Keir Starmer’s home. 

Greenpeace protesters occupied the roof of Rishi Sunak’s home in Yorkshire in August 2023 while he was away on holiday. 

In February 2024 protestors over Gaza demonstrated outside the home of the Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood.

All three protests were peaceful. As of writing [22/03/24] there have been no other protests reported outside MP’s homes.

Sunak also demanded a crackdown on protests outside parliament, political parties’ offices and town halls that may prevent use of a venue or “cause alarm harassment or distress”.

Recent protests over Gaza and climate change have been entirely peaceful.

Tom Southerden, Amnesty International UK’s law and human rights director, said “Talk of ‘mob rule’ wildly exaggerates the issue and risks delegitimising the rights of peaceful protest.”

Some MP’s say they have been receiving abusive and threatening messages, particularly over Gaza. They have not produced examples and it is impossible to judge how widespread such threats are.

Verdict

Sunak’s statement is both inflammatory and a wild exaggeration.

We emailed Rishi Sunak’s office and Downing Street offering them the chance to respond. The email was received, but no reply. 

Published 28 Jun 2024
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