Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appeared outside 10 Downing Street this evening (March 1) to make a statement on the "shocking increase in extremist disruption and criminality" in recent months.

Mr Sunak decided to speak outside despite the wet weather on Friday.

The PM said the victory of George Galloway in the Rochdale by-election is “beyond alarming”.

He said: “In recent weeks and months, we have seen a shocking increase in extremist disruption and criminality.

“What started as protests on our streets have descended into intimidation, threats and planned acts of violence.

“Jewish children fearful to wear their school uniform lest it reveals their identity. Muslim women abused in the street for the actions of a terrorist group they have no connection with.

“Now our democracy itself is a target. Council meetings and local events have been stormed. MPs do not feel safe in their homes. Long-standing parliamentary conventions have been upended because of safety concerns.

“And it’s beyond alarming that last night, the Rochdale by-election returned a candidate that dismisses the horror of what happened on October 7, who glorifies Hezbollah and is endorsed by Nick Griffin, the racist former leader of the BNP.”

Newham Recorder: Rishi Sunak said 'no country is perfect, but I am enormously proud of the good that our country has done'Rishi Sunak said 'no country is perfect, but I am enormously proud of the good that our country has done' (Image: PA Wire)

In a call for unity, the Prime Minister said: "We must be prepared to stand up for our shared values in all circumstances, no matter how difficult in the face of divisions. 

"The time has now come for us all to stand together to combat the forces of division and beat this poison.

"We must face down the extremists who would tear us apart.

"If we do that, we can build on our great achievement in creating today's Britain, a country of kind decent, tolerant people. 

Mr Sunak concluded his statement by saying: "We can make this a country in which we all feel a renewed sense of pride. This is our home. 

"So let us go forward together, confident in our values and confident in our future."

"Now our democracy itself is a target," he added.

Rishi Sunak was heckled by a man outside the gates of Downing Street during his public address.

The man began shouting when the Prime Minister started talking at around 5.45pm on Friday.

Earlier, Downing Street said in a statement: “The Prime Minister’s address will touch on recent events, including in Parliament last week, and the need to protect our democratic processes."