The extent to which movements campaigning for racial equality and climate change have been infiltrated by hard-left extremists is to be investigated in a move ordered by the prime minister.
Unaffiliated peer Lord Walney, formerly a Labour MP, has been instructed to investigate the the threat of hard-left extremism within political organisations like the Black Lives Matter movement and Extinction Rebellion.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Lord Walney warned against “blind spot in Britain to the prospect of progressive extremism – that is, unacceptable disruption or even violence carried out in the name of progressive causes to which the political establishment and large majority of the population have great sympathy, like climate change and racial injustice.”
In recent times Britain has been subject to an array of attacks, riots and social breakdown by movements in the name of progressivism, much of the behaviour engaged in by activists deemed unacceptable by large sections of the public.
On Remembrace Day, Extinction Rebellion hijacked the Cenotaph in a move Boris Johnson described as “profoundly disrespectful.”
Black Lives Matter protestors have been waging a war on statues of British figures from history. On the anniversary of D-Day in 2020, Winston Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square was vandalised with graffiti proclaiming that he was a racist.
The leadership of BLM have also agitated for extreme measures such as “defunding the police.”
On the subject of BLM, Lord Walney stated that the leadership of the organisation “pushed a very hardline and absolutist view” which was far detached from the beliefs of the majority who generally support the concept of anti-racism.
Lord Walney has stressed the threats of both far-left and far-right terrorism are still dwarfed by the scale of the threat from Islamism.
The peer was unambiguous in his belief that organised far-left activists were fruitful in hijacking progressive movements. He said: “I want to look at the way anti-democracy, anti-capitalist far-Left fringe groups in Britain, like the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), tend to have much more success hijacking important causes and mainstream cultural activity than the far-Right, and the harm that may do.”
Lord Walney also berated the support certain left-wing activist groups such as Unite Against Fascism garnered from parliamentarians themselves, warning that MPs supporting these groups will “risk that a far-Left minority could mire noble and essential movements for change in unacceptable violent tactics in the future.”
Lord Walney will present his findings to the prime minister and Home Secretary Priti Patel around May.