Rishi Sunak's Prevent plan for critics of Britain 'very slippery slope', Iain Dale says

3 August 2022, 18:35

By Seán Hickey

Rishi Sunak's plan to extend Prevent services to people who 'vilify' the UK is bordering on an attempt to control people's thoughts.

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Rishi Sunak wants to change the definition of extremism to allow people with an ‘extreme hatred of Britain’ to be referred for deradicalisation.

Under the plans from the Tory leadership hopeful, people who ‘vilify’ Britain would be treated as extremists and referred to the Government’s Prevent programme. He said he wants to broaden the definition of extremism to include people with an “extreme hatred” of the nation.

Read more: People who 'vilify' UK face being treated as extremists under Rishi Sunak plans

"I don't think that's where a British government should be heading" Iain Dale declared.

"I don't like when I hear other people criticise [the United Kingdom]" he went on, but said that it's "surely part of our democratic right" to be able to criticise the country.

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"If you have someone standing up in a meeting or even in the media saying Britain is a terrible country because of our colonial past, because of racism or whatever, I don't think they should be referred to the Prevent programme!"

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Iain went on, reiterating his earlier point that a country with the UK's history and democracy shouldn't be policing the views of its citizens.

"Surely it's part of a thriving democracy that we are allowed to criticise our own government and our own country in – I wouldn't say extreme terms, but it's almost as if we're moving to a situation where people are trying to control our thoughts."

"I don't like it when I see or hear people vilifying our country...but I certainly wouldn't want to ban them from doing so, that is a very very slippery slope."