Tory MP says the phrase 'white privilege' is racist

Tory MP says the phrase ‘white privilege’ is racist and teachers who use it should be disciplined and reported as extremists

  • Stoke-on-Trent North MP Jonathon Gullis said he had been told ‘lefty Twitter is in meltdown’ because he said use of term ‘white privilege’ is racist and extremist
  • Gullis had said that it is racist to ‘suggest everyone who is white’ is privileged
  • After receiving backlash, Gullis has urged those believing everyone who is white is privileged to visit parts of Stoke-on-Trent where poverty is rife 

A Conservative MP has defended his view that the phrase ‘white privilege’ is racist and extremist – and that teachers who use it should be disciplined and reported to the government’s counter-terror programme as extremists.

Stoke-on-Trent North MP Jonathon Gullis said in a statement he had been told ‘lefty Twitter is in meltdown’ because he said the use of the term in schools, colleges and university’s is extremist.

Gullis had told a panel at the Conservative Party conference last week that it is racist ‘to suggest everyone who is white’ is privileged, and said the phrase should be reported to anti-terrorism programme Prevent.

He also said any teacher who is using the term white privilege should face a disciplinary hearing ‘at the very least’, reported The Mirror. 

After receiving backlash for his comments, Gullis has since defended his comments and urged those believing everyone who is white is privileged to visit parts of Stoke-on-Trent where poverty is rife. 

Gullis said on Facebook: ‘I would urge any left woke warrior to visit Stoke-on-Trent North, Kidsgrove and Talke and try [to] tell the people there that they are somehow ‘privileged’. I suspect they wouldn’t like the response they get.’

A report released this summer found that the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated poverty levels in Stoke-on-Trent, which is the 14th most deprived district in England.

Stoke-on-Trent North MP Jonathon Gullis (pictured left with Jacob Rees-Mogg in Stoke-on-Trent) has defended his view that the phrase ‘white privilege’ is racist and extremist – and that teachers who use it should be disciplined and reported to the government’s counter-terror programme as extremists

Gullis initially made the comments while speaking at an event organised by the Conservative Friends of Education group.

He said: ‘The term white privilege is an extremist term, it should be reported to Prevent, because it is an extremist ideology.’

Gullis added: ‘It’s racist to actually suggest everyone who’s white somehow is riddled with privilege.

‘So I hope that will be reported, I hope that will be looked into, any any teacher who’s perpetuated in the classroom ultimately should face a disciplinary hearing at the very least. 

‘Because it’s not what children should be listening to, it’s not appropriate for the classroom.

‘The classroom is a place to impart knowledge, not to impart political ideology of the teacher standing in front of you.’

Gullis, who is a former member of the parliamentary Education Select Committee, later said in his statement that he has previously said the term white privilege is extremist and should be reported to Prevent while sitting on the Committee. 

He added: ‘We actually made a point about this in the “Left behind white pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds” inquiry I was part of, and which Labour voted against supporting.’ 

Stoke-on-Trent North MP Jonathon Gullis said in a statement he had been told ‘lefty Twitter is in meltdown’ because he said the use of the term in schools, colleges and university’s is extremist

After receiving backlash for his comments, Gullis (pictured) has since defended his comments and urged those believing everyone who is white is privileged to visit parts of Stoke-on-Trent where poverty is rife

The report from the Commons Education Select Committee which Gullis refers to claimed terminology such as ‘white privilege’ may have contributed towards a ‘systemic neglect’ of white working-class pupils.

The Conservative-dominated committee said white working-class pupils have been ‘let down’ for decades by England’s education system – and ‘divisive’ language can make the situation worse.

The report concluded that disadvantaged white pupils have been badly let down by ‘muddled’ policy thinking and the Department for Education has failed to acknowledge the extent of the problem. 

Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy told the Mirror: ‘The idea that white privilege exists isn’t extremist, it’s a widely accepted fact.

‘These comments betray a wider desire in the Tory party to drive a wedge between working class communities, crack down on free speech in education, and impose right-wing values on teachers.

‘Working class children of all races are being held back by Tory cuts, not by the teaching of racism and classism in schools.’

During the panel event at the Conservative Party conference Gullis also said there should be ‘consequences’ for ‘woke left teachers’ who are pushing their ideology in the classroom. 

He said:  ‘The other way we can stop the cancel culture is by actually saying to the woke left lecturers and the woke left teachers, who seem to be becoming more and more apparent, ‘ultimately, guess what’s going to happen’.

‘If you are going to push your ideology in the classroom there are going to be consequences for you.’

‘I don’t push Conservatism in the classroom, it wasn’t an appropriate thing to do…

‘For some reason, if a Labour Party member wants to stand up in front of the classroom and say how bad and evil the Tories are, then the headteacher has to take some sort of sympathetic viewpoint to that.

‘It’s absolutely disgusting, we need to start sacking people who are pushing their political ideology.

‘If you want to do that, join a political party, come to Stoke-on-Trent North, pay your £500 deposit, run against me at the next general election.’ 

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