LFI chair Joan Ryan has secured a cross-party parliamentary debate on the proscription of Hezbollah on Thursday 25 January.
LFI has long called for the complete proscription of the terrorist group Hezbollah. Currently, the UK only proscribes Hezbollah’s ‘military wing’, but not its ‘political wing’. The UK’s distinction is not one that Hezbollah itself recognises. Its deputy secretary general, Naim Qassem, stated in 2009 that the “same leadership that directs the parliamentary and government work also leads jihad actions in the struggle against Israel”.
This false distinction means that Hezbollah flags can be flown on the streets of Britain. This is most notably seen in London during the annual Al Quds Day parade. Last June, LFI vice-chair Louise Ellman wrote to the home secretary, Amber Rudd, calling for Hezbollah’s proscription as well as asking London mayor Sadiq Khan to review the policing of the event. In November, she met with the Metropolitan Police to discuss our concerns.
Jennifer Gerber, director of LFI, said: “Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation, driven by an antisemitic ideology, which seeks the destruction of Israel. The British government has repeatedly failed to take action to ban it in its entirety. This debate is intended to increase the pressure on them to do so without further delay and excuses.”