UK condemns ‘violent bid to undermine democracy’ by Bolsonaro backers in Brazil

Britain has condemned the “violent attempts to undermine democracy” in Brazil after supporters of ousted far-right president Jair Bolsonaro stormed congress.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly pledged President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva the UK’s “full support” after raids also centred on the presidential palace and the supreme court in Brasilia.

Thousands of Bolsonaro supporters who refuse to accept his election defeat invaded the buildings in the capital on Sunday, a week after his leftist rival’s inauguration.

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In scenes echoing the January 6 insurrection in Washington DC by Donald Trump supporters in 2021, demonstrators in Brazil evaded security barricades, scaled roofs and smashed windows in violence scenes.

Mr Cleverly said Mr da Silva – better known as Lula – and “the government of Brazil have the full support of the UK”.

“The violent attempts to undermine democracy in Brazil are unjustifiable,” the Foreign Secretary tweeted.

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Earlier, his Labour shadow David Lammy sent the party’s “full support and solidarity to President Lula and the Brazilian people at this troubling time”.

“This is an appalling attack on democracy, with chilling parallels to the storming of the US Capitol,” he added.

Protesters supporting Brazil’s former president Jair Bolsonar sit in front of police after inside Planalto Palace after storming it (Eraldo Peres/AP)
Protesters supporting Brazil’s former president Jair Bolsonar sit in front of police after inside Planalto Palace after storming it (Eraldo Peres/AP)

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has described President Lula as a “friend and comrade”, said the attack was an “insurrection” and an “assault on democracy”.

Tory MP Damian Collins warned the “disturbing scenes” are “another demonstration of the power of conspiracy theories and extremism, in our age of news driven by social media echo chambers and AI empowered recommendation tools.”