She said, “There have been demonstrations throughout the UK since the terrorist attacks by Hamas on Israel. While it is right and understandable that people are seriously concerned about civilians, a concern we all share, the demonstrations have gone beyond this in many cases to support of terrorist actions and calling for more. This is entirely unacceptable and must be tackled. There is no place for the glorification of terrorism on the street of this United Kingdom.
On 16th October the Prime Minister reassured my colleague Sammy Wilson “police across the United Kingdom will use all tools at their disposal” to stamp out such incidents and “arrest those who perpetrate these acts”. This hasn’t always happened however, whether on the streets of London or Londonderry.
Despite the strong words from the Prime Minister, the current legislation is not robust enough to deal with such incidents, and there is an unwillingness to attempt to even enforce it. Given our experience here in Northern Ireland we have experienced the problems with such legislation more than other regions. That is why we were calling for laws to be strengthened long before these most recent protests.
Ministers have talked about it being a question of both legality and values. However, the nation’s values will be influenced by the laws which govern us. The Government needs to both strengthen that legislation and ensure there is clear direction across all parts of the UK as to how it can be enforced.
For people to have been witnessed dancing in the streets of any part of the UK following the Hamas attacks is reprehensible and demands action. It is the Government’s responsibility to ensure that happens.”