Martin Ford 04 July 2023

Tory MPs oppose boycotts ban

Tory MPs oppose boycotts ban image
Image: Loredana Sangiuliano / Shutterstock.com.

Government moves to ban councils from imposing their own boycotts has faced opposition from Conservative benches.

Backed by communities secretary Michael Gove, the Bill is designed to ‘prevent local authorities from singling out individual nations for discriminatory treatment on the basis of an ideological opposition to that nation’.

The Bill specifically targets the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, described by Mr Gove as an 'existing, organised and malign campaign that aims to target and delegitimise the world’s only Jewish state’.

Despite Mr Gove’s assurances the Bill would not ‘restrict freedom of speech in any way’, Tory backbencher Sir Desmond Swayne said it amounted to creating ‘thought crime’ while Conservative MP Crispin Blunt labelled it a 'very un-Conservative measure’.

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