Cross-Party Support for Conspiracy Theory Guide aimed at MPs, Peers and Candidates Launched Today


We’ve received a press release from the Antisemitism Policy Trust about their guide on conspiracy theories.

You can read the guide on their website. It has been written with expert groups including the Antisemitism Policy Trust, Full Fact, Tell MAMA [The charity working to combat anti-Muslim hate], the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and The Global Network on Extremism & Technology.

Press Release

Leading figures in parliament today united to launch A Guide for Members of Parliament and Candidates on Conspiracy Theories. Commissioned by the Leader of the House of Commons, Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, and launched by both Ms Mordaunt and Shadow Leader of the House, Lucy Powell MP, the guide was drawn together by expert groups including the Antisemitism Policy Trust, Full Fact, Tell MAMA [The charity working to combat anti-Muslim hate], the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and The Global Network on Extremism & Technology.

The guide provides examples of eight common conspiracies that have been identified as proliferating in the UK, including the QAnon movement, anti-vaccine narratives, and Climate Change denial, and explains the implications and the threat these conspiracies pose to democracy. The guide was produced to help ensure that parliamentarians current and future, can better guard against conspiracism, spot conspiracy theories and avoid amplifying or inadvertently spreading them.

Conspiracy theories are an increasingly alarming threat to British society. A 2018 study found that 60% of the British public believe at least one conspiracy theory. Though conspiracy theories are as old as time, the rise of social media and global events such as the Covid-19 pandemic have meant they pose distinct challenges to democracies across the world. Belief in just one conspiracy theory can create a dangerous path to increasingly more radical and hateful ideas.

Research has identified a key connection between antisemitism and conspiracy theories. A recent study conducted by researchers from King’s College London found that antisemitism is more likely to occur among those who believe in conspiracy theories, whether their views are right or left-wing. Antisemitism is a present thread across all the case studies presented in this guide.

Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, Leader of the House of Commons said:

“The Proliferation of conspiracy theories across the UK is deeply disturbing. They are deliberate campaigns to spread disinformation and fear. If they go unchallenged we risk the public being conned and their wellbeing potentially damaged. These campaigns are also a threat to the health of our democracy. It is essential that we give the public and their representatives the tools they need to combat this phenomenon. I strongly support this guide, spearheaded by the Antisemitism Policy Trust, as it will help equip us all to combat misinformation and ensure the British people have the knowhow they need to think critically. This guide bolsters the efforts I am leading in the House of Commons and my colleagues in Government to protect the public from the damaging effects of misinformation and safeguard the integrity of our democratic process.”

Lucy Powell MP, Shadow Leader of the House said:

The rise in conspiracy theories should worry us all. Whilst their existence is nothing new, the proliferation of social media and online channels has multiplied their reach, their risk, and the repercussions they have on individuals, our society, our politics and democracy. This guide is a must-read for MPs and candidates, who have an important role in leading their communities, speaking on the national stage with clarity and truth, and against mis and dis information which can harm communities and our country.

Danny Stone MBE, Chief Executive of the Antisemitism Policy Trust said:

“One doesn’t have to fall particularly far down any conspiracy theory rabbit hole before finding antisemitic themes, tropes, or ideas. We were delighted to work with the Leader of the House, Penny Mordaunt MP, whose initiative this was, and so many other organisations on this guide. It is imperative that parliamentarians and parliamentary candidates can spot, and certainly avoid promoting and amplifying conspiracy myths. We hope this guide will help them in that endeavour.”