Rishi Sunak warns ‘mob rule is replacing democratic rule’ in Britain

Rishi Sunak has said that Britain is descending into “mob rule” as he gave a fresh warning to police that they must crackdown on protests. 

The prime minister pledged to do “whatever it requires to protect our democracy and our values that we all hold dear”.

During a meeting in Downing Street on Wednesday afternoon, he called for more robust police responses. 

He told police chiefs they had to demonstrate they would “use the powers you already have”. Doing so is “vital for maintaining public confidence in the police”, he added. 

He said: “There is a growing consensus that mob rule is replacing democratic rule. And we’ve got to collectively, all of us, change that urgently.”

However, human rights group Amnesty International has said the prime minister’s stance “wildly exaggerates the issue”.

Tom Southerden, Amnesty International UK’s Law and Human Rights Director, instead warned fundamental rights were being eroded.

He said: “Talk of ‘mob rule’ wildly exaggerates the issue and risks delegitimising the rights of peaceful protest”.

“Freedom of expression and assembly are absolutely fundamental rights in any free and fair society.”

Speaking on Wednesday, Rishi Sunak hailed a new policing protocol that “provides clarity that protests at elected representatives’ homes should be treated as intimidatory”.

The protocol also warns protests at democratic venues, like parliament, or political events should not be allowed to “cause alarm, harassment or distress” to attendees.

Forces will provide additional patrols in communities at risk of “potential flashpoints”.

It came as the government also unveiled a £31m security funding package for MPs amid rising threats. 

On Tuesday, Rishi Sunak rejected a suggestion that MPs should be able to speak and vote from their constituencies because of concerns about security at Westminster.

Downing Street said the prime minister believed it was “really important that we maintain parliament as a place for free debate and expression of views”.

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