UK Conservative MP says party pushing for law to ban BDS 'within a year or two'

UK Conservative MP says party pushing for law to ban BDS 'within a year or two'
2 min read
17 December, 2021
'Within a year or two, we should have an absolute ban on BDS,' Conservative MP Robert Jenrick said
MP Robert Jenrick said his party will ban BDS in the coming months [Getty]

A Conservative MP and former housing minister said Tuesday that his party is pushing for legislation to outlaw the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in the UK. 

During an online conference event entitled “Why Do So Many People Hate Jews”, MP Robert Jenrick said: “In the following months we will be working to outlaw BDS”.

“I do think BDS is being beaten back here. There is no political party in the UK that would support BDS today”, he said.

“What we want to do is pass a piece of legislation here and I’m pretty confident it will be in the next legislative programme in the Spring of next year.”

“Obviously I want it to be as broad as possible so there’s next to no avenue for BDS to continue here. Within a year or two, we should have an absolute ban on BDS.”

Palestinian campaigners and rights groups have slammed Jenrick’s remarks as an anti-democratic suppression of free speech.

Meanwhile, Israel advocacy group Zionist Federation welcomed the move to ban the anti-apartheid campaign, which they claim is anti-Semitic.

The UK Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, pledged to ban local councils from boycotting products from countries including Israel in the run-up to the December 2019 general elections.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has said his party will not support BDS, calling the movement divisive and damaging to UK-Israel relations. However, party members passed a motion at the annual Brighton conference in September that labelled Israel an apartheid state and called for sanctions against the country.