Rishi Sunak has tried to link Sir Keir Starmer to terrorism, in a sign the Tories plan to make his previous career as a lawyer a key part of their general election campaign.

The Conservative party later put out a message on social media saying: “Are you a terrorist in need of legal advice? Better call Keir."

The Prime Minister was also reprimanded by the Speaker of the Commons after trying to use a “prop” at PMQs to attack the Labour leader’s record.

On Monday, Home Secretary James Cleverly announced the 70-year-old international Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir is to be banned in the UK as a terrorist organisation.

He called it “an antisemitic organisation that actively promotes and encourages terrorism, including praising and celebrating the appalling October 7 attacks” by Hamas in Israel.

On one recent march in London, a Hizb ut-Tahrir member was filmed shouting “jihad”.

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During an exchange on the Rwanda asylum plan at PMQs, Mr Sunak said: “Just this week we had another example of [Sir Keir] doing one thing and saying another. 

“He backed the Home Secretary in banning the terrorist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, despite him personally using the European Court of Human Rights to try and stop them being banned.

“And don't take my word for it. The extremists’ own press release said, and I quote, The Hizb ut-Tahrir legal team led by Keir Starmer. 

“Now, I know he doesn't like talking about them because they've been a client, but when I see a group chanting jihad on our streets, I ban them, he invoices them.” 

The latter phrase was repeated on the Tory party social media posts.

The remark, which was greeted by loud cheers from Tory MPs, was ignored by Sir Keir. 

The case the PM cited was from 2008, long before this week’s move to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir in the UK, and involved a ban in Germany, not here.

Sir Keir was mentioned in the UK group’s press release on 25 June 2008, when an application was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights to overturn the German ban.

However the following month, he was named the new head of the Crown Prosecution Service and withdrew from all private work ahead of taking up the job that November.

When the court threw out the case four years later, he was not mentioned in the judgment.

The Herald:

Earlier at PMQs, defending his controversial Bill declaring Rwanda a safe country, despite the UK Supreme Court ruling otherwise, Mr Sunak said senior lawyers including a former judge considered it “robust legislation”.

He said: “I know he [Sir Keir] has always been more interested in what lefty lawyers have to say. I’ve even got here the textbook that he authored for them.”

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Holding up a picture of the cover of a law book published in 1999, he went on: “And it’s called, and I quote, European Human Rights Law by Keir Starmer.”

He was interrupted by Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who said: “Prime Minister! 

“Prime Minister, when I stand up, please sit down. 

“Can I just say, we don't use props in this House, and I will certainly ensure that if you do need reminding, I certainly will.”

Sir Keir accused Mr Sunak of “utterly pathetic nonsense”.