Amber Rudd to consider banning Hezbollah and ‘distressing’ Al Quds Day march

Amber Rudd to consider banning Hezbollah and ‘distressing’ Al Quds Day march

Home Secretary responds to calls for the group, whose paramilitary wing is proscribed by the UK, to be banned in its entirety

Home Secretary Amber Rudd will consider calls to ban Hezbollah and the “distressing” anti-Israel Al Quds Day march.

Responding to a question by Newark MP Robert Jenrick in the House of Commons, Rudd said she’d look into banning the annual demonstration and proscribing the whole of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Jenrick asked the Home Secretary to take action, after describing driving his family past the march on the weekend. He said: “My wife and daughters are Jewish. We were met by a protest where there were anti-Semitic banners and chants, and there were people waving Hezbollah flags, which for those unfamiliar with the flag, has a big machine gun on it.”

“To make a mockery of the law, someone had actually put a post-it note on the flag saying “you cannot arrest me because I support the political wing of Hezbollah, not the military wing, this time”.”

He then asked the home secretary to show “enough really is enough.. by taking action against these rallies. Ban them so that they can never take place on the streets of London again, and ensure that the whole of Hezbollah is made a proscribed organisation.”

Responding to Jenrick, Rudd said: “It is always distressing to see that sort of march going on and that sort of provocation that he has just described. Must have been very upsetting for him and his family. I will certainly consider what he’s put, what he’s suggesting, and come to discuss it with him, and if necessary with the House.” on clothing, including by children, without police action.

Britain outlaws the military wing of Hezbollah but not its political wing – even though leaders of the group suggest they are one and the same. Since Sunday’s march, figures from the Labour and Conservative parties have called for the whole of the organisation to be banned.

A petition calling for the march to be banned has also gained around 5,000 signatures since being set up on Monday.

On Sunday, hundreds of anti-Israel demonstrators marched through central London for the annual Al Quds Day march, holding banners reading ‘Boycott Israel’, ‘Zionism=racism’ and ‘We are all Hezbollah’.

Organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, participants marched behind a Hezbollah flag while the group’s symbol was carried by supporters and worn.

This week, Jewish News and the Zionist Federation call on the government to fully proscribe Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation, following Sunday’s inflammatory Al Quds Day march. Read about the campaign here:

Earlier on Thursday, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was accused of not “doing his job” during an ill-tempered meeting at City Hall, with regards to taking action over the Al Quds march.

Tory member of the Greater London Assembly Andrew Boff asked the mayor: “Will you write to the Home Secretary and say we need to clarify what is a banned and not-banned organisation in order to assist the police in such demonstrations in the future?”

Mr Khan said he was “really happy to read all the letters” Mr Boff had sent to the Home Secretary on the issue and “consider whether there is evidence to make the submissions you want me to make”.


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