has described chanting of “Jihad” as a threat to the British democracy.
After thousands of people came to the streets in London over the weekend, the Prime Minister warned against the shouts, but his official spokesman stopped short of stating the law would be strengthened, instead saying Scotland Yard will be given “clarity” regarding police’ capabilities.
Sunak was speaking to MPs in the House of Commons on Monday as Metropolitan Police faced harsh criticism for not arresting extremists during pro-Palestinian marches attended by 100,000 people on Saturday.
It comes after officers said they were left “frustrated” at being unable to intervene as people called for jihad during rallies over the weekend.
Earlier, Tory MP Gareth Bacon stated that British Jews were increasingly feeling endangered in their own country, and that the ‘apparent reluctance of the Metropolitan Police to do anything about it’ was exacerbating the situation.
Speaking to Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips on Sky News, the UK immigration minister, Robert Jenrick, also said the chanting of jihad on the streets during protests in London was “completely reprehensible,” adding that the government wanted to make sure the police did “everything that they can to protect British Jews.”
However, he said it was up to the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service to press charges.
Thousands of protesters marched in London on Saturday in a show of solidarity for Palestine and to demand an immediate end to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza following the attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7, 2023.
The Metropolitan Police said there had been “pockets of disorder and some instances of hate speech” during the demonstration.
People were heard chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” – despite controversy over the meaning of the slogan.
But the Met said the majority of activity had been “lawful and taken place without incident”.
The force said no offence was committed when a man was filmed chanting “jihad, jihad” at a protest in London.
“However, recognising the way language like this will be interpreted by the public and the divisive impact it will have, officers identified the man involved and spoke to him to discourage any repeat of similar chanting,” a spokesperson added.
Asked about arrests being made, Mr Jenrick said: “Chanting jihad on the streets of London is completely reprehensible and I never want to see scenes like that. It is inciting terrorist violence and it needs to be tackled with the full force of the law.
“Ultimately, it’s an operational matter for the police and the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) whether to press charges.”