‘What is the solution?’ Bev Turner hits out at Tobias Ellwood: ‘Sounds like you want to take our freedom of expression!’

‘What is the solution?’ Bev Turner hits out at Tobias Ellwood: ‘Sounds like you want to take our freedom of expression!’

WATCH NOW: Tobias Ellwood claims China is trying to 'sow seeds of division'

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 25/03/2024

- 17:23

Beijing has been accused of compromising the personal data of 40 million voters

GB News host Bev Turner has challenged former Chairman of the Defence Select Committee Tobias Ellwood on the fate of Britain's free speech, after the latest cyber attack from China.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden accused "China affiliated actors" of two cyber attack campaigns in the UK, including an attack on the Electoral Commission and China-sceptic MPs.

Confirming the incidents in the House of Commons this afternoon, Dowden called on the Chinese ambassador "to account for China's conduct in these incidents", in which the names and addresses of tens of millions of voters was compromised.

Dowden condemned the attacks as "completely unacceptable" and that China had demonstrated "a clear and persistent pattern of behaviour that signals hostile intent".

Tobias Ellwood and Bev Turner

Bev Turner challenged Tobias Ellwood on the solutions to China's latest cyber attack

GB News

Appearing on GB News, Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood was questioned on the possible motive behind China's latest attack, as host Andrew Pierce said the nation "knows all about us anyway".

Ellwood claimed Andrew's comment was "flippant" and said China are "harvesting British data" in order to "nudge our nation into disagreements and sow political discord".

Ellwood explained: "That's what their operations are all about. It's now common modus operandi for countries, not just China, but Russia, Iran and so forth that spend an awful lot of money trying to distract governments such as the UK, who are critical of those countries.

"They seek to exploit our our openness, our transparency, our freedoms of expression, to raise tensions, to raise disagreements and conspiracies here in the UK."


China's cyber attack saw the data of approximately 40 million people compromised


Ellwood also praised Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden for "finally holding China to account" with his statement in the Commons today.


Ellwood warned that it is "not just the UK which is being targeted" by China, but Britain needs to "establish the resilience to be able to defend ourselves and protect ourselves and call this out".

Host Bev Turner reacted to Ellwood's comments, admitting she is "baffled" by the "industrial scale manipulation of the narrative along social media lines", and said we "have to ignore" a lot of it.

Ellwood responded: "We simply can't ignore it. The introduction of artificial intelligence and quantum computing is allowing countries such as China to do this on a scale that we've never imagined before.

"You cannot threaten parliamentarians in this way, but this has now become the norm from China I'm afraid, to threaten us because we're critical about what China is doing and where China wants to take the world."

Bev Turner

Bev questioned if the solution to the attacks is to 'compromise free speech' of Britons

GB News

Bev questioned the stance of government and Ellwood and questioned what the "solution" will be without compromising British free speech.

Bev asked Ellwood: "It sounds like you're nudging towards a world in which we have our freedom of expression compromised so as to somehow avoid the nefarious intent of China, but what are you going to do by doing that is become more Chinese and shut down the British population?"

Ellwood replied: "No, what we're seeing today is China being called out for it. They are seeking to exploit the timidity of our global order. They want their own interpretation, they're linking up with other nations as well.

"So we're ending up getting a splintering of our world, as you imply in fact, into two spheres of competing influence - the West, and indeed then the China, Russia, Iran axis. We're going to put some sanctions on these Chinese politicians."

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