DEFIANT MPs have hit back at Rishi Sunak amid UK Government plans to stop them from engaging with protest groups such as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).

Ministers are considering proposals put forward by the Government’s adviser on political violence, John Woodcock, to ban MPs and councillors from engaging with certain groups that use disruptive tactics.

The plans say mainstream political leaders should tell their representatives to employ a “zero-tolerance approach” to groups that use disruptive tactics or fail to stop “hate” on marches.

Sunak and Home Secretary James Cleverly are due to discuss the proposals as part of a review conducted by Woodcock.

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign has said it will “oppose this desperate move” which it believes will only mobilise more people to demonstrate in support of Palestine.

Sharing the news, SNP MP Gavin Newlands defiantly tweeted: “Just try and stop me, Rishi.”

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Tommy Sheppard, who has spoken at Palestine Solidarity Campaign events in the past, also insisted he would not be discouraged from engaging with pro-Palestine groups by a Government “trying to play the man and not the ball”.

The Edinburgh East MP said: “They better back off because it is my constitutional responsibility to represent the people who elected me and the people who elected me are extremely clear they wish to demonstrate solidarity with the Palestinian people so I am not going to be dissuaded from doing that.”

Several sitting Labour MPs have attended PSC events – including the former shadow chancellor John McDonnell and the MP for Poplar and Limehouse, Apsana Begum.

The Scottish PSC – which was set up before the PSC and is a separate organisation – said the UK Government has no mandate in Scotland to impose such “repressive” measures on elected members.

Mick Napier, of the Scottish PSC, told The National: “Having lost the argument in terms of Scottish and British public opinion, the UK Government is continuing its efforts to close down the debate in public spaces.

“Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign will continue with many others to oppose this desperate move from an unpopular government which has no semblance of a mandate in Scotland for its proposed repressive measures.

“Banning elected representative from publicly supporting Palestinian rights, while urging those same MPs, MSPs and councillors to defy the International Court of Justice ruling, comes up against majority public opinion and Tories and Labour are paying a heavy political price for their behaviour.

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“These measures will have an impact on our campaigning. It will only inspire more people to take to the streets.”

Rishi Sunak has also asked Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove to update the Government’s definition of extremism so it encompasses more broadly those who “undermine” British values and institutions.

The change is expected to be announced later this month and is expected to include a list of groups that fall foul of the new definition.

Gove is also expected to announce details of a government unit for combating extremism that will be responsible for providing leadership and training for officials across government departments to improve their ability to identify signs and instances of extremism.