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Policing Bill: Ex-Unilever boss says protesters’ ‘fundamental rights’ threatened by Priti Patel plan

Former boss of Unilever wades into row over Government’s plans to offer police new powers to clamp down on demonstrators

  • Paul Polman has ‘profound considerations’ over Home Secretary’s Policing Bill 
  • Polman known as on friends in a House of Lords vote to throw out components of the invoice
  • Under Polman, Unilever grew to become one of the crucial woke companies in Britain








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The former boss of Unilever has this weekend waded right into a row over the Government’s plans to offer the police new powers to clamp down on demonstrators. 

Paul Polman, 65, says he has ‘profound considerations’ over Home Secretary Priti Patel’s Policing Bill, including that it ‘threatens the best to peaceable protest’. 

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He known as on friends in a House of Lords vote on Monday to throw out components of the invoice, which he says limit folks’s ‘most elementary rights’ to face up for his or her beliefs. 

Speaking out: Paul Polman says he has 'profound concerns' over Home Secretary Priti Patel's Policing Bill, adding that it 'threatens the right to peaceful protest'

Speaking out: Paul Polman says he has ‘profound considerations’ over Home Secretary Priti Patel’s Policing Bill, including that it ‘threatens the best to peaceable protest’

The Dutch industrialist was on the helm of the FTSE shopper items large for a decade, throughout which era it gained a status as one of the crucial woke companies in Britain.

His intervention into UK politics is extremely uncommon for a former captain of trade. It got here simply days after Unilever was savaged by main shareholder Terry Smith for placing wokery forward of income. Deborah Meaden, the Dragons’ Den star and entrepreneur, can also be campaigning towards the proposed clampdown, claiming it’s ‘unhealthy for enterprise’. 

The invoice was prompted by public frustration on the toppling of statues and disruptive protests by Insulate Britain, BLM and different teams. 

Its opponents embrace the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Muslim Council of Britain, the Church of England and different religion leaders who’ve urged the Government to ‘assume once more’. Faith leaders argue the invoice may criminalise a variety of spiritual actions together with avenue preaching and chanting. 

‘Kill the Bill’ demonstrations are deliberate throughout Britain at present forward of the vote within the Lords. A letter signed by Polman, Meaden and 200 enterprise house owners calls on the Lords to amend the invoice, eradicating any ‘anti-protest’ provisions. 

Polman, who earned a complete of round £70m in his time on the head of Unilever, stated: ‘No enlightened enterprise ought to help disproportionate infringements on this proper. Would Unilever have, by itself, woken as much as the plastics disaster, if our customers and staff had not demanded we take discover? The sincere reply isn’t any, we’d not. 

‘Companies profit from having channels by way of which civil society could make itself heard.’ 

Woke warriers: Paul Polman and Deborah Meaden

Woke warriers: Paul Polman and Deborah Meaden

Polman and Meaden are opposing the legislation change which might set begin and end occasions for protests, in addition to noise limits. It additionally threatens as much as 10 years in jail for injury to memorials. 

Critics say the invoice is an assault on the best to protest and that it successfully criminalises any demonstration that police deem to be inflicting disruption. Campaigners additionally argue it will give the police the facility to cease and search anyone they thought was attending a protest. Meaden argued the best to protest is an ‘important half’ of enterprise and that it spurs innovation. The Government argues the invoice will uphold the best to peaceable protest whereas giving police the facility to cease disruption and violence. 

The letter of protest has not been signed by Unilever. However, it has been endorsed by one in every of its best-known manufacturers, Ben & Jerry’s. The ice-cream maker has already attacked Patel on Twitter in 2020 over migrant boats crossing the Channel. 

And its refusal to promote its wares within the ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory’ was cited by Terry Smith as one occasion of ‘ludicrous’ woke behaviour.

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