'Go too woke, risk going broke' Oliver Dowden warns government-funded organisations

6 October 2021, 01:08

Oliver Dowden was challenged on being 'woke' at a fringe event.
Oliver Dowden was challenged on being 'woke' at a fringe event. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Oliver Dowden has stepped up his attack on "woke" culture with a warning to Government-funded organisations that they could lose cash.

The Tory chairman was challenged by an activist at the Conservative party conference about his "anti-woke rhetoric" but he insisted his interventions were not "reactionary".

Mr Dowden warned that some cultural organisations were "responding too much to this noisy and aggressive brigade of activists" who criticised aspects of British history.

"Organisations need robust leadership to stand up to that aggressive campaigning because ultimately they need to be careful," he said.

"If they go too woke, they risk going broke and they just need to tread that line very carefully.

"They have to demonstrate why they justify the funding."

Read more: ‘Irresponsible crusties’: Boris Johnson lays into eco protesters bringing misery to roads

Read more: Priti Patel announces inquiry into murder of Sarah Everard

Caller is woke and proud as he explains to Tom

At the Telegraph's Chopper's Politics event, Mr Dowden was challenged by Albie Amankona, co-founder of Conservatives Against Racism For Equality.

She asked: "Was women's suffrage woke? Was universal suffrage woke? Were gay rights woke?

"We couldn't even suggest that people didn't boo our national football team on the global stage.

"My question is, have we learnt anything from the progress of the last 100 years?"

In response, Mr Dowden said: "When I make interventions in this area, I genuinely ask myself exactly that question - am I just standing in the way of change in a reactionary way?

"I genuinely do not believe that is the case."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Rishi Sunak is following Sir Keir Starmer in taking questions from LBC listeners this morning

Starmer refuses to rule out council tax hike and reveals hopes for new Brexit deal - now it's your turn to quiz Sunak

Global confirms biggest ever Election coverage plans with Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to take listeners' calls

Rishi Sunak follows Keir Starmer in taking listeners' calls as part of Global's biggest ever Election coverage

Justin Timberlake's mugshot has been released

Justin Timberlake mugshot released after singer arrested for 'driving while intoxicated' in wealthy Hamptons enclave

Former Conservative Party donor John Caudwell has said he is backing Labour to win the General Election.

Former Tory donor John Caudwell backs Labour in General Election

Sir Ian McKellen was taken to hospital after he fell from the stage during a West End performance

Sir Ian McKellen 'looking forward to returning to work' as he thanks NHS staff for help after falling off West End stage

British teen missing in Tenerife after desperately calling friends from 'the middle of nowhere' on night out

Desperate mum of British teen missing in Tenerife 'beside herself with worry' as she flies out to help with search

Mysterious smoking headless torso missing arms and legs dumped on popular Spanish holiday beach

Horror as smoking headless torso missing arms, legs and head dumped on popular Spanish holiday beach

Hamish Harding ignored warnings over the Titan sub.

Brit billionaire 'ignored stark warning over Titan sub' after record-breaking dive gave him 'false sense of security'

The King and Queen have wished the racegoers the "best of luck" in chasing the "thrill of a Royal Ascot winner".

King and Queen wish Royal Ascot attendees 'best of luck' chasing race winner

Chris Marriott, 46, was helping a woman when they were driven over by a Seat Ibiza car in Sheffield

Father killed by car used 'as a weapon' as he tried to help stranger, jury told

Rugby Union player Connor Garden-Bachop has died at the age of 25 after a 'medical event', New Zealand Rugby has confirmed.

New Zealand rugby player Connor Garden-Bachop, 25, dies after 'medical event'

Mr Sunak was joined by Foreign Secretary David Cameron for the first time on the campaign

Flock of sheep flee as Rishi Sunak and David Cameron try to feed them

Olympic athletes ‘could die of overheating’ due to 'dangerous temperatures' at Paris 2024 Games

Olympic athletes ‘could die of overheating’ due to 'dangerous temperatures' at Paris 2024 Games

Comedian Victoria Vera Blyth was killed by her husband David Thomas Blyth

British businessman shoots his TV star wife dead in murder-suicide after 'row over her text messages' at Turkey home

Tattooed woman in black hunted by police after schoolboy, 12, was brutally attacked during attempted robbery

Tattooed woman in black hunted by police after schoolboy, 12, is attacked walking home from school

A decision not to charge police officers involved in the original Stephen Lawrence murder investigation has been upheld by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Stephen Lawrence murder detectives will not face prosecution, CPS announces