'Not the British way!' Jeremy Hunt blasts extremism and vows to 'restore traditional virtues'

'Not the British way!' Jeremy Hunt blasts extremism and vows to 'restore traditional virtues'

WATCH NOW: Jeremy Hunt reacts to Rishi Sunak's extremist crackdown

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 03/03/2024

- 11:34

'I do want to bring taxes down in the Budget, they are too high and the public don’t want gimmicks,' he added

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt has told GB News that combatting extremism is "about restoring that traditional British virtue of tolerance" following Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's intervention into the growing intimidation by small extremist groups in Britain.

In a statement outside Downing Street, Sunak warned of forces "trying to tear us apart" and that the actions of protesters following the Hamas attacks on October 7 has "gone on long enough".

He added: "In recent weeks and months, we have seen a shocking increase in extremist disruption and criminality.

"What started as protests on our streets has descended into intimidation, threats and planned acts of violence."

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt says extremist behaviour is 'not the British way'

GB News

Asked about Rishi Sunak’s speech on extremism, Hunt told GB News host Camilla Tominey that the Prime Minister was clear that there are "things that the Government needs to do".

Hunt claimed we have a "traditional British virtue of tolerance", and what the UK has seen in the last few months is "a line being crossed with protests that are intimidatory", leading to people feeling unsafe.

The Chancellor supported the statement made by Sunak and stated it is "not the British way" to act in extremist groups.

He defended the peaceful protests taking place alongside the extreme minority, but called for the "responsibility to be on all of us" to "call out extremism when it happens".

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak said extremist behaviour has 'gone on long enough'


Hunt told GB News: "We have asked the police to use the powers they have. As I said, we've also said that we will legislate to give them additional powers.

"We said that we will expel people who crossed that line if they are foreign nationals and we will prescribe organisations that promote those kind of behaviours like Hizb-ut-Tharir."


Hunt explained: "We are also very clear this is about our whole country. This is not just something for the Government. This is about restoring that traditional British virtue of tolerance, understanding that the way you get change in this country is through peaceful protest within the law.

"But if those protests are within the law, of course, we will always support people's right to do them."

When Camilla Tominey asked if he feels more intimidated than in the past, Hunt revealed: "Well, I actually live in Downing Street now so I hear those protests off the weekend. Personally, I would never say that I'm worried.

"But I have had very disturbing emails, particularly from Jewish friends who say that some of this behaviour makes them frightened to go out of their front door. And that's why it's right to take action."

Jeremy Hunt

Camilla Tominey grilled the Chancellor on the upcoming Budget

GB News

Asked if the upcoming Budget would be make or break for the Conservatives, he said: "Of course, budgets are very, very important moments. This is likely to be the last Budget before the General Election. But British people are very smart. They recognise gimmicks. They don't want any tricks. What they will get on Wednesday is a prudent and responsible plan for long-term growth."

In response to a suggestion by Camilla that high taxes are "un-Conservative", he said: "I'll just say first of all that I do want to bring taxes down. Absolutely they're too high.

"And why do I want to bring them down? Because I look around the world and the most dynamic, fastest-growing economies in North America and Asia are generally countries where the tax burden is lower. So yes, I want to bring them down.

"We spent nearly £500billion supporting families in the pandemic and in the cost of living crisis. That was the right thing to do and because of that, unemployment is at historic lows. And I think we did the right thing there. It has to be paid for. Now we need to get back on a path to lower taxes. I will do that in a responsible way. I hope to show progress but this is not something that is going to happen overnight."

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