'Forces are trying to tear us apart': Rishi Sunak makes unprecedented intervention from Downing Street as he attacks George Galloway election: 'This has gone on long enough'

'Forces are trying to tear us apart': Rishi Sunak makes unprecedented intervention from Downing Street as he attacks George Galloway election: 'This has gone on long enough'

BREAKING: 'We must face down the extremists HIJACKING our streets' - Rishi Sunak

GB News
Dimitris Kouimtsidis

By Dimitris Kouimtsidis

Published: 01/03/2024

- 16:33

Updated: 01/03/2024

- 18:59

The Prime Minister has delivered a statement to the nation about the rise in extremism and criminality in recent months

Additional Reporting by Holly Bishop

Rishi Sunak warned extremist "forces are trying to tear us apart" in an address to the nation from No10 Downing Street following the election of George Galloway.

The Prime Minister said the UK has seen a "shocking increase in extremist disruption and criminality" from people trying to capitalise on Hamas' attack on Israel.

"Now our democracy itself is a target," he said, following Galloway's win last night at the Rochdale by-election, which he called "beyond alarming".

He said that Galloway had "dismissed the horror of what happened on October 7, glorifies Hezbollah and is endorsed by Nick Griffin, the racist former leader of the BNP."

Sunak outside No10

Rishi Sunak made an unprecedented intervention from Downing Street

GB News

The Prime Minister said following the October 7 attacks, regular marches taking place throughout the UK have sometimes turned violent.

He urged protesters to not let extremists "hijack" the demonstrations. "Protest decently," he said, and "with empathy for your fellow citizens. Let us prove these extremists wrong."

He said that as a result of growing extremism, many MPs do not feel safe in their own homes.

He also added that many Muslim women throughout Britain feel threatened, as do Jewish children whilst wearing their school uniforms.

Sunak told the nation that "we must face down the extremists" which he said are spreading a poison throughout the country.

He said they want Brits to doubt themselves and their history, blaming the UK and the West for being "solely responsible for the world's ills".


\u200bRishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak said that many MPs do not feel safe in their homes due to a recent rise in criminality and extremism


Sunak said Brits should "reject the notion we are on the wrong side of history", adding: "We are a decent country and decent people".

Galloway has hit back at "little" Sunak, who called his win "alarming" and said he supported Hezbollah.

The newly-elected Workers Party MP told Sky News: “You talk as if this is God. We’re talking about little Rishi Sunak, in the fag end of his prime ministership. Don’t talk to me as if he’s come down from the Mount with tablets of stone.”

Galloway said he did not understand Sunak’s suggestions that he “glorifies Hezbollah” but hoped they could discuss it at Prime Minister’s Questions next week if Sunak “has the guts”.

“I’m not responsible for whoever declares they endorse me… I’ve never met Mr Griffin and have no intention to,” Galloway told Channel 5 News.

“I don’t know what the glorifying of Hezbollah is all about but maybe he can tell me on Wednesday at Prime Minister’s Questions if he’s got the guts.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer appeared to back the Prime Minister’s message calling for unity in the UK.

Sunak outside No10

Sunak told the nation that 'we must face down the extremists'


In a statement, he said: “The Prime Minister is right to advocate unity and to condemn the unacceptable and intimidatory behaviour that we have seen recently.

“It is an important task of leadership to defend our values and the common bonds that hold us together.

“Citizens have a right to go about their business without intimidation and elected representatives should be able to do their jobs and cast their votes without fear or favour.

“This is something agreed across the parties and which we should all defend.”

Sunak's address to the nation comes a day after yet another by-election defeat, his third in just two weeks.

Last night, the Tories suffered yet another setback, finishing third in the Rochdale by-election, behind both George Galloway and David Tully.

The Workers Party candidate pulled in 12,335 votes, with the second-place Tully, coming in with 6,638.

The Conservative candidate Paul Ellison came in third place with 3,731 (-11,076), with just 12 per cent of the vote.

Ellison had faced extensive criticism for going on holiday during the campaign.

George Galloway

His comments come after George Galloway won the Rochdale by-election last night


This led to former Tory MP, Ann Widdecombe claiming that the Tory party is “not serious about the next General Election”.

Speaking to GB News’ Patrick Christys, the former MEP turned Reform UK politician blasted Rishi Sunak’s party as being “not serious” about the upcoming General Election.

Christys asked: “What can we learn about how the General Election is shaping up from these by-elections so far?”

Widdecombe explained: “Well, the mere fact that the candidate went on holiday says it all. It says the Conservatives have given up. They're not serious about the next General Election.

“I have to say, regrettably for 55 years it was my party, but I have to say that I think they thoroughly deserve it.

“I mean, they have made an unholy mess with a huge majority. They've made a consistent mess. I mean, one or two things going wrong, everybody expects that.

“But no matter who the Prime Minister has been, they've made a complete mess of it. And today we hear we've got record lawful immigration.”

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