Foreign AffairsSpeeches

Christian Wakeford – 2023 Speech on Israel and Gaza

The speech made by Christian Wakeford, the Labour MP for Bury South, in the House of Commons on 16 October 2023.

On Saturday, I went to shul and sat next to a constituent whose cousin is one of the hostages. My thoughts and prayers go out not only to him, but to all families and hostages currently detained.

While conflict escalates in the middle east, we see the effects on the streets here in Britain. I welcome the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition standing behind Israel’s right to defend itself and the £3 million increase in funding for the Community Security Trust. However, unfortunately, in the past week we have seen an increase of around 500% in antisemitic incidents and an 850% increase in suspicious behaviours, and even this weekend glorification of Hamas and genocidal chants on the streets of our cities, in some cases mere feet away from police officers. Will the Prime Minister join me in applauding the efforts of the CST in keeping the Jewish community safe, but also commit to ensuring that anyone found to be preaching this hate speech on our streets faces the full extent of the law?

The Prime Minister

I can give the hon. Gentleman that assurance. I met the CST and police chiefs last week, in Downing Street, not just to provide extra funding, but to reiterate that there is zero tolerance in the United Kingdom for antisemitism. It is tragic that we have seen a significant increase in incidents over the past week, but those who perpetrate these crimes will be met with the full force of the law.