George Galloway's victory will only 'stoke division' in Britain warns Shadow Education Secretary

George Galloway's victory will only 'stoke division' in Britain warns Shadow Education Secretary

WATCH NOW: Bridget Phillipson reacts to Rishi Sunak's statement on extremist behaviour

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 03/03/2024

- 12:40

Updated: 03/03/2024

- 12:46

George Galloway secured a shock victory in Wednesday's Rochdale by-election

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson said she agrees with the Prime Minister that violence and hatred linked to extremism needs to be tackled "across our society".

She told GB News: "I do think we need to make sure that extremism is being tackled and in whatever form or shape that takes and I agree with the Prime Minister, that it is essential as a country that we make sure that violence that hatred is tackled."

Asked bout extremism in schools, and a teacher who has been in hiding for three years because of threats, she said: "Of course, that is completely unacceptable and I'm worried about extremism right across the board. It takes different shapes and different forms.

"Sadly, it has led us to the position where there has been unacceptable violence and intimidation across our society."

George Galloway and Bridget Phillipson

Bridget Phillipson calls for an end to 'unacceptable violence' in Britain

PA / GB News

In a discussion with Camilla Tominey, she said it is wrong to link extremism with immigration: "We need a migration system that responds to the needs of the economy and does so in a balanced way.

"But I'm not convinced that that kind of rhetoric is going to aid the conversation that we have as a country about how we make sure we are tackling extremism and connecting the two in that kind of way I don't think is necessarily the right way to be doing things."

On George Galloway’s victory in the Rochdale by-election, she said: "I deeply regret what has taken place in Rochdale and I'm very sorry that we've ended up in this situation because Labour had to pull our candidate because of those unacceptable comments, but sadly, it was necessary.

"And Keir Starmer took decisive action to make sure that he was clear that the Labour Party had changed. That did mean that we effectively had to pull support from our candidate, didn't field a candidate in that by-election."

Camilla Tominey

Bridget Phillipson reacted to George Galloway's victory in the Rochdale by-election

GB News

Phillipson continued: "But what we will make sure is that we will select a really strong candidate for the General Election.


"That candidate is someone who can seek to unite the community once more rather than stoke division, which I think is sadly what we're likely to see in the months to come there."

On reports that the party is investigating another candidate over his support for Azhar Ali in Rochdale, she told Camilla Tominey: "You'll understand that we have a process in place where complaints are made and there is a full investigation and politicians don't involve ourselves in individual investigations or individual cases.

"But it is absolutely right that where concerns are raised, they are investigated. We've got strong processes in place."

Rishi Sunak

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the nation that extremist forces are 'trying to drive us apart'


"That is why we ended up in a situation where we pulled support for our candidate in Rochdale, because of the unacceptable nature of those comments, which does often come at a price but it's the right thing to do.

"Because we want to make sure that every Labour candidate who stands for elected office and going into that General Election this year is of a high calibre and where we can be confident in their ability."

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