Tory Jonathan Gullis said teachers who use the phrase ‘white privilege’ should be reported to Prevent as it was ‘extremist ideology’
Image: Pete Stonier / Stoke Sentinel)
Teachers who use the phrase “white privilege” should be disciplined and reported to Prevent as extremists, a Tory MP has claimed.
Jonathan Gullis made the hardline claim at the Tory conference – where he also said teachers who show support for Labour in the classroom should be sacked.
The Stoke-on-Trent North MP, a former teacher himself, made the comments at an event hosted by the Conservative Friends of Education.
The phrase ‘white privilege’ is used to describe unseen advantages for people with white skin, in a society where most other people are of the same ethnic background as them.
But Mr Gullis claimed: “The term white privilege… is an extremist term, it should be reported to Prevent, because it is an extremist ideology.”
Prevent is a government programme to tackle extremist ideology that could lead to terrorism.
Mr Gullis continued: “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, and 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.”
Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy said: “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.”
The MP’s comments were among a string of attacks on so-called ‘woke’ politics during the Conservative Party Conference.
Ex-minister Jake Berry attacked civil servants for ‘woke-ing from home’ while Boris Johnson used his speech to take aim at “know-nothing, cancel culture iconoclasm.”
Mr Gullis spoke on Tuesday at a fringe event in Manchester, a recording of which was handed to the Mirror.
He warned there should be “consequences” for “woke left” teachers allowing a “cancel culture” to “trickle in” to secondary schools.
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.”
Mr Gullis also referred to transgender people as “it” in a conversation about people using their preferred pronouns.
He said he attended a Q&A and “the first question I got was what’s your views on pronouns, I thought what the hell are you doing.
“I’ve got no issue calling someone ‘they’ or ‘them’ or ‘it’ or whatever they want to be called.
“But ultimately I don’t believe we should have to change the language and tell all kids ‘somehow you’re transphobic if you use he or she, or you should be hounded into silence.’”