Urgent question on the Prime Minister's use of language

26 September 2019

Jess Phillips MP asked ministers to ask the Prime Minister to reflect on his language and role as Prime Minister, and to create a safe environment both in our country and in our country’s Parliament.

Kevin Foster MP, Cabinet Office Minister responded to the question saying;

"Freedom of speech is a fundamental British liberty but it is not an excuse to threaten or abuse anyone whose views you do not agree with. That liberty is compromised when a culture of intimidation forces people out of public life or discourages citizens from engaging in the political process. Let me make clear and say with no equivocation such behaviour is wrong, unacceptable and must be addressed."

Jess Phillips responded;

"The use of language yesterday and over the last few weeks such as 'surrender bill', such as invoking the war, such as talking about betrayal and treachery. It has clearly been tested and workshopped and worked up and it is entirely designed to inflame hatred and division, I get it, it works, it is working."

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition responded saying;

"The language that politicians use matters and has real consequences. To dismiss concerns from members about the death threats they receive, and to dismiss concerns that the language used by the Prime Minister is being repeated in those death threats is reprehensible."

Image: PC/Jessica Taylor

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