Ian Dunt hits out against Priti Patel's 'shameful' Police and Crime Bill

21 September 2021, 22:21

By Seán Hickey

The Home Secretary new bill is nothing more than 'the silencing of protest' according to the political commentator.

Columnist Ian Dunt was reacting to comments made by Tory MP Ben Bradley on Cross Question, who claimed that M25 protesters Insulate Britain are acting off their "middle-class pretentiousness" and should be locked up.

Read more: M25 eco protesters 'want locking up', Tory MP fumes

"Protest is the voice of the people who are most marginalised" Mr Dunt countered. "It's one of the most pivotal kinds of free speech."

Read more: M25 eco protest delays left my mum paralysed from stroke, devastated caller tells LBC

Reflecting on the power of free speech, Mr Dunt then wondered "what is Priti Patel's response to that? It is literally to silence that."

Read more: Priti Patel: Police must take ‘decisive action’ to stop ‘selfish’ M25 eco mob

He warned that in the Police, Crime and Sentencing bill "if one person might potentially be alarmed by what they're hearing, that protest can be silenced."

Read more: Camilla Tominey blasts police for offering 'assistance' to Insulate Britain protesters

After Mr Bradley tried to contest the claim, the political commentator noted that "that is in the provisions of the bill, I am almost reading it word for word."

"That is not what any confident liberal free society would do and it is shameful that it's happening in ours."

Read more: James O'Brien's penny drop moment on passion and protest

Iain Dale noted that "in terms of protesting methods, [Insulate Britain] been quite effective," to which Mr Dunt noted that the eco protesters have a quandry.

"If you're a protester you should think long and hard about whether you're trying to attract more people to your cause, or if you'll alienate those people." The columnist concluded by suggesting that Insulate Britain are doing harm to their public image.