Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Tory MP says people who use term ‘white privilege’ should be reported as extremists

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Jonathan Gullis has been urged to apologise for his remarks (Picture: Getty Images)

A Conservative MP has suggested teachers who use the term ‘white privilege’ are extremists, according to reports.

Jonathan Gullis is said to have made the claim at the Tory Party conference when talking about teachers sharing their political beliefs in the classroom.

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In a leaked recording, obtained by the Mirror, he said white privilege – an expression used to describe unseen advantages white people have over people of other ethnic backgrounds – is an ‘extremist term’.

He said those who use it should be reported to Prevent – a Government counter-extremism programme.

The MP for Stoke-on-Trent North and former teacher 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, and any teacher who’s perpetuated in the classroom ultimately should face a disciplinary hearing at the very least.

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‘The classroom is a place to impart knowledge, not to impart political ideology of the teacher standing in front of you.’

Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis after putting on a jacket, he had been set to address the Commons from home during a debate on support for businesses and individuals during the Covid-19 pandemic but was snubbed from making a virtual contribution to Parliament after being judged to be dressed too casually. Picture date: Tuesday February 23, 2021. PA Photo. The Stoke-on-Trent North MP was skipped on the order paper by Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing after appearing without adhering to the proper dress code. Mr Gullis was able to make his virtual contribution to Parliament after sourcing a jacket to wear. See PA story COMMONS Coronavirus Clothes. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
The MP for Stoke-on-Trent North also suggested teachers should be fired for expressing support for Labour (Picture: PA)

But Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy said the idea of white privilege is a ‘widely accepted fact’ and is not an extremist belief.

His Labour colleague Dawn Butler told the Independent: ’For a Member of Parliament and recent member of the Education Select Committee to show such ignorance is as shocking as it is dangerous.

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‘To insist that anyone using the term white privilege should be referred to the counter-terrorism Prevent course is not only bizarre, it is dangerously authoritarian and from a dystopian philosophy.

‘Jonathan Gullis must withdraw his comments immediately and apologise for his insensitive and frankly offensive remarks.’

Mr Gullis was also said to have suggested teachers who show support for Labour in the classroom should be sacked.

He said he didn’t push conservatism in the classroom as it ‘wasn’t an appropriate thing to do’.

The MP added: ‘If you are going to push your ideology in the classroom there are going to be consequences for you.’

Mr Gullis told ‘Once again we see how dangerously out of touch the Labour Party is with their former voters in red wall seats like Stoke-on-Trent.

‘I am more than happy to welcome any Labour MP to come and visit Ball Green, the Miners Eatate in Kidsgrove and Talke Pits, so they can tell the people there they are too privileged.

‘The only issue is the Labour Party will have to find Stoke-on-Trent North first, having forgotten about it and so many other places in the Midlands and North.’

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