RISHI Sunak has been slammed for making “authoritarian statements” over pro-Palestine rallies in a statement outside Downing Street on Friday evening.

Sunak confirmed the UK Government will bring in a "new robust framework" for policing protests.

He also said people in the UK on some visas could be removed for joining certain protests.

The remarks have drawn criticism from many, including First Minister Humza Yousaf (below), who wrote on Twitter/X: "To tackle hatred, leaders must be willing to call it out. The PM refused this week to condemn Lee Anderson and Suella Braverman's comments as Islamaphobic.

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"Peaceful protest is at the heart of our democracy. We will always resist attempts to curtail those fundamental freedoms."

Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer (below) said: “Nothing in that statement which couldn't and shouldn't have waited to be announced to Parliament.

The National: Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer in the Scottish Parliament“Whole thing clearly contrived to make the unpopular leader of a dying government look like he's in control. “Vague authoritarian statements that will have only boosted Galloway.”

The speech came after George Galloway’s by-election victory in Rochdale, which he won with a majority of 9600.

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Responding to Sunak’s claim that “recently, our streets have been hijacked by small groups who are hostile to our values”, Chris McEleny, Alba party general secretary, said: “99.9% of streets have not. Metropolitan nonsense beamed into Scotland.”

Evelyn Tweed MSP wrote: “Have I just entered a parallel universe...what on earth is @RishiSunak on about? This "fight against extremism" is a Tory manufactured smoke screen to distract from the ineptitude of their Government and the harm they have caused to people across the UK.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer (below) appeared to agree with Sunak's statement, saying: "The Prime Minister is right to advocate unity and to condemn the unacceptable and intimidatory behaviour that we have seen recently.

The National: Keir Starmer“It is an important task of leadership to defend our values and the common bonds that hold us together.

“Citizens have a right to go about their business without intimidation and elected representatives should be able to do their jobs and cast their votes without fear or favour.

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“This is something agreed across the parties and which we should all defend.”

'Threat to democracy'

Conservative voices have applauded Sunak’s statement, condemning a “threat” to democracy.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron (below) wrote: “The PM @rishisunak is quite right to speak out like this. Extreme Islamism and Far Right groups threaten the Britain we are building together.”

The National: David Cameron has made a dramatic return to Government as Foreign Secretary in a reshuffle triggered by Rishi Sunak’s decision to sack Suella Braverman (James Manning/PA)Meanwhile, Sajid Javid, one of the most outspoken Tory critics of Lee Anderson’s “Islamophobic” comments, said: “Powerful speech by the PM tonight. The UK is the most successful multiracial democracy in the world.

“Those who seek to exploit tension and division must not succeed. An important and timely intervention from @RishiSunak”

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, also praised Sunak: “The Prime Minister is absolutely right - his words are inspirational, heartfelt and sadly all too necessary. We need to unite to fight extremism everywhere it exists.

“I will be saying more about how we can take on the forces that seek to divide in the days ahead.”