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Combat extremism

Last updated 5 months ago

We will combat extremism...

Conservative Party Manifesto 2019, p.19

Our verdict

  • This is a commitment to prevent or reduce extremism, which the government defines as “vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values”, as well as “calls for the death of members of our armed forces”.  It’s worth noting that this is distinct from the government’s definition of ‘terrorism’.
  • In 2019, the previous government flagged an updated version of its Counter-Extremism Strategy for publication in 2020, but that did not appear. In January 2021, William Shawcross was appointed as the new independent reviewer of the government’s Prevent strategy, which the government says aims “to stop people…moving from extremist groups into terrorist-related activity”.  Human rights organisations subsequently boycotted the review, citing Shawcross’s “patently Islamophobic views”.
  • The government’s approach to extremism has been called “futile and flawed” by its own advisory body, and it has promised but failed to produce a new Counter-Extremism Strategy (a strategy its advisory body says should be refreshed on a regular basis).  However, in spite of the misgivings of human rights groups and others, the appointment of a new reviewer of Prevent is evidence of continued efforts to combat extremism, so this policy is ‘in progress’.

There's always room for debate

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