View from the house: Catherine West MP wants right wing threat defeated

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 June 2018

Chris McAndrew (Creative Commons licence CC BY 3.0)

Thousands of people marched through central London earlier this month under the guise of “defending freedom”.

In reality, this protest in support of the former leader of the English Defence League Tommy Robinson, featured a series of far-right speakers, reports of Hitler salutes, bottles being thrown and aggressive outbreaks of violence with police and anti-racist campaigners coming under attack.

This brazen show of neo-fascism in the heart of our great city was the latest in a string of marches drawing increasing crowds. It is a disturbing development and mirrors what we have already seen both across Europe and in the US following the election of Donald Trump. Trump’s open racism, hostility to migrants, proud proclamations of “Muslim bans” and wall building have energised the far-right. In the UK hate crime is on the rise, with the highest recorded spike following the EU referendum – hardly surprising after a deeply divisive, racist and unpleasant campaign that sought to stoke anti-immigrant prejudice.

As I write this, it is two years to the day since my colleague Jo Cox was murdered by a far-right terrorist who called her a “collaborator” and a “traitor” as he killed her. Two men convicted for racially aggravated harassment of Luciana Berger MP are both from the far-right. The Finsbury Park terrorist Darren Osborne has started a minimum 43-year prison sentence for his brutal attack on people leaving a mosque. After he was arrested, he spoke of wanting to kill Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan.

There is a danger this threat isn’t being taken seriously enough, because of the collapse of the BNP as a political force and the failure of its successors such as For Britain to make ground in elections. To do so would be a grave error. The threat of 2018 isn’t just at the ballot box. It is on our streets, in internet chatrooms, on divisive newspaper headlines, and in attempts to try and build an “alt-right”, pro-Trump movement here in the UK. There is no room for complacency.

One of my favourite things about this great city is its diversity. It is why so many people have chosen to make it their home and it is its biggest strength. We are no strangers to fighting fascists here. In 1977 the people of Haringey stood strong against the National Front’s attempts to march through Wood Green, an event that helped lead to the foundation of the Anti-Nazi League and hasten the demise of the National Front as a political force. But we must do it again. Jo Cox used her maiden speech in Parliament to remind us that we have more in common than that which divides us. She was right. We must unite against attempts to stir up hatred.

I will be holding a public meeting in July to discuss the threat of the far-right and how we defeat it. Full details will be on my website at as soon as available. I hope you will join me.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories


Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has accused the German football federation of racism, prompting the 29-year-old to retire from international football.

Yesterday, 20:04

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has announced he is to quit playing for the German national side, slamming individuals at the country’s football federation, accusing them of revealing their ‘previously hidden racist tendencies’.

Yesterday, 19:16

Fourteen wickets fell with nearly 400 runs scored on day one of the Division Two County Championship match at Lord’s between Middlesex and Warwickshire on Sunday.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

A late strike from Lily Owsley saw England come from behind to grab a point in their Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup opener with India.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Middlesex all-rounder James Fuller had mixed feelings after his stunning 6-28 haul proved in vain in a Vitality Blast T20 defeat at Hampshire.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

James Fuller’s six-wicket haul proved in vain as Middlesex lost to Hampshire in their latest Vitality Blast T20 match on Friday night.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Angry Barnet parents and children will be campaigning outside the government’s offices on Monday against the borough’s “staff-less” libraries.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

NBA Crossover runs from August 10-12


As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate stories

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now