Sunak Convenes University Leaders Amid Worries of UK’s Drift Toward ‘Mob Rule’

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London (Parliament Politics Maganize) – Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calls university leaders to address anti-Semitic incidents and has committed funding for security measures.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will meet with university leaders at Downing Street to discuss the safety of Jewish students on campus amid alarming incidents. Sunak has stated concerns over the erosion of democratic values in the UK, explicitly highlighting the demand for more robust efforts against intimidation stemming from demonstrations related to the Gaza conflict. 

Recent demonstrations have increased alarm with their use of anti-Semitic taglines and the targeting of politicians. Sunak, talking at the Community Security Trust’s annual dinner, highlighted the increasing threat to the nation’s social fabric due to growing racist attacks. He also vowed to combat both anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hatred.

Sunak underlined the unacceptable nature of the situation at UK universities, emphasizing instances such as Iranian generals giving anti-Semitic speeches. He warned against abusing freedom of speech as a cover for hate speech, stating that such behavior damages the fundamental principles of free expression.

Sunak said that Jewish students were facing targeted dangers and assaults solely because of their Jewish essence. A  distressing incident concerning a chaplain at the University of Leeds who had to take his family into concealing due to death threats emanating from his status as an IDF reservist was highlighted.

“Where people break the law on our campuses, they will be met with the full consequences.” Mr Sunak spoke.

To manage the concerning rise in anti-Semitism, the Prime Minister revealed plans to summon Vice Chancellors from leading universities at Downing Street. This meeting seeks to discuss practical strategies to fight anti-Semitic incidents on campuses. Additionally, in reaction to the surge in anti-Semitic activities, funding will be delivered for security measures such as security guards, CCTV, and alarm procedures at Jewish community sites. The Home Office has distributed £54 million, with a portion devoted to the Community Security Trust (CST) until 2028 and extra funding to enhance protection for MPs.

Sunak stressed the importance of condemning “hateful narratives” and funding interfaith initiatives to encourage greater community cohesion and understanding. He criticized recent demonstration marches in UK cities, which have left Jewish families feeling unsafe in the capital. He declared his commitment to not permitting violent or intimidating behavior to silence elected representatives.

He mentioned the importance of peaceful protests backing to protect civilian lives. Still, he criticized any calls for violence or the projection of anti-Semitic imagery onto milestones like Big Ben, referring to a recent happening during a parliamentary debate on Gaza.

Tensions in the UK increased following Hamas’s attack on Israel in October, leading to regular pro-Palestinian demonstrations and counter-rallies across cities, as well as protests outside MPs’ residences. Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, changed parliamentary rules to address situations over MPs’ safety during debates, provoking Sunak to warn against intimidation of Parliament by extremists.

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Sunak was also concerned about a proposed “democratic policing protocol” with police chiefs during a meeting at Downing Street to improve patrols and clarify that protests at elected representatives’ homes should be regarded as intimidatory. Home Secretary James Cleverly accompanied him during this meeting.

Daniele Naddei

Daniele Naddei is a journalist at Parliament News covering European affairs, was born in Naples on April 8, 1991. He also serves as the Director of the CentroSud24 newspaper. During the period from 2010 to 2013, Naddei completed an internship at the esteemed local radio station Radio Club 91. Subsequently, he became the author of a weekly magazine published by the Italian Volleyball Federation of Campania (FIPAV Campania), which led to his registration in the professional order of Journalists of Campania in early 2014, listed under publicists. From 2013 to 2018, he worked as a freelance photojournalist and cameraman for external services for Rai and various local entities, including TeleCapri, CapriEvent, and TLA. Additionally, between 2014 and 2017, Naddei collaborated full-time with various newspapers in Campania, both in print and online. During this period, he also resumed his role as Editor-in-Chief at Radio Club 91.
Naddei is actively involved as a press officer for several companies and is responsible for editing cultural and social events in the city through his association with the Medea Fattoria Sociale. This experience continued until 2021. Throughout these years, he hosted or collaborated on football sports programs for various local broadcasters, including TLA, TvLuna, TeleCapri, Radio Stonata, Radio Amore, and Radio Antenna Uno.
From 2016 to 2018, Naddei was employed as an editor at newspapers of national interest within the circuit, including Internazionale24, Salute24, and OggiScuola. Since 2019, Naddei has been one of the creators of the Rabona television program "Calcio è Passione," which has been broadcast on TeleCapri Sport since 2023.