Labout Peer and former deputy Prime minister John Prescott was accused of being an ‘apologist for terrorism’ after saying Britain was to blame for the radicalisation of Muslim teenagers.
The Mail Online report: Ed Miliband was tonight facing growing calls to condemn the Labour peer John Prescott of claims Britain is to blame for radicalising young Muslims into joining ISIS.
The former deputy prime minister said the country should ‘face up to the fact’ that it had somehow pushed already devout youngsters into the throngs of extremism.
He added if he was a young Muslim in Britain today, he too ‘could be radicalised’ because of ‘injustice’ in Gaza and US drone strikes in Syria.
His comments were met with fury by MPs today.
Home Affairs Select Committee member Michael Ellis said the Labour leadership needed to criticise the remarks immediately.
Former minister Tim Loughton said Mr Prescott was playing into the hands of ISIS and ‘acting as an apologist for terror’.
Fellow Conservative MP Conor Burns said Mr Prescott’s view was ‘half-baked, ill thought-out and sensationalist’.
In his weekly column for the Sunday Mirror, Lord Prescott, who last week said Tony Blair’s ‘bloody crusades’ in Iraq had contributed to terrorism, said: ‘Isn’t it time we faced up to the fact we’ve played a huge part in making them want to leave Britain and take up arms in a foreign land?’
He was referring to a handful of youngsters to have fled the country to join ISIS extremists abroad.
Last week three teenage boys were stopped trying to enter the country at the Turkish border.
A High Court judge banned another group of youngsters from travelling overseas amid fears they were planning to wage jihad.
Rather than blame ‘Trojan horse schools’, at which he claimed there was ‘no proof’ of radicalisation, Lord Prescott said of the impressionable teens: ‘It wasn’t just JIhadi John who radicalised them.’
‘If I was a young Muslim watching the social injustice in Gaza where 2,000 people died in a matter of weeks from Israeli bombings, the displacement of millions of people in Syria and the U.S. using drone missiles…. I’m sure I could be radicalised too.’
Mr Ellis, a long-standing member of the respected Home Affairs Select Committee, told MailOnline:
‘We must stand up for our values and defeat extremism – not by apologising but by challenging ideologies which seek to destroy peace and co-operation.
‘John Prescott should focus on that an Ed Miliband should immediately condone these remarks and be clear that these views cannot be justified.’
Mr Loughton said the remarks as ‘extremely dangerous’, adding: ‘John Prescott now appears to be acting as an apologist for terror.