Tory MP doubles down on claim white privilege is 'an extremist ideology'

10 October 2021, 15:20

MP for Stoke-on-Trent, Jonathan Gullis, has been forced to defend the comments after widespread criticism.
MP for Stoke-on-Trent, Jonathan Gullis, has been forced to defend the comments after widespread criticism. Picture: Alamy

By Elizabeth Haigh

A Conservative MP has defended comments he made describing the phrase "white privilege" as racist and calling for teachers who use it to be reported to the government's counter-terror programme.

Stoke-on-Trent MP Jonathan Gullis made the comments at the Conservative party conference.

He told listeners at an event organised by the Conservative Friends of Education group: "The term white privilege is an extremist term, it should be reported to Prevent, because it is an extremist ideology.

He added: "It's racist to actually suggest everyone who's white somehow is riddled with privilege.

"So I hope that will be reported, I hope that will be looked into, any any teacher who's perpetuated in the classroom ultimately should face a disciplinary hearing at the very least."

Mr Gullis went on to say the term is "not appropriate" for the classroom.

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Following backlash he received over the comments, Mr Gullis posted on Facebook that "lefty Labour Twitter is in meltdown".

He wrote: "I would urge any left woke warrior to visit Stoke-on-Trent North, Kidsgrove and Talke and try tell the people there that they are somehow 'privileged'. I suspect they wouldn't like the response they get."

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White privilege refers is the concept that someone who is white benefits from inherent advantages in society compared to someone who is not.

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According to the Independent, at the same event the MP called for Labour supporting teachers who criticise the Conservatives to be sacked.

He said of teachers who voice negative opinions of the party to students: "It’s absolutely disgusting, we need to start sacking people who are pushing their political ideology."

The Home Office's prevent programme was set up to counter terrorist extremism.

Labour MP for Leicester East Claudia Webbe tweeted yesterday that Mr Gullis unwittingly "encapsulated 'white privilege' with finesse."