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Combat extremism

Last updated 3 years 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 said an updated version of its Counter-Extremism Strategy would be published in 2020, but the current government did not deliver on that promise. In February 2021, the government’s advisory body, the Commission for Countering Extremism (CCE) issued a report which found that much extremist activity is currently lawful in the UK; that our laws have not kept up with the changing threats from extremism; and that there is a need for a new legal framework to combat extremism while protecting freedom of expression.
  • The government’s approach to extremism has been called “futile and flawed” by the CCE. In light of the serious shortcomings identified by the CCE report, and in the absence of any new Counter Extremism Strategy, it appears this government has failed to take effective action to combat extremism, so this policy is ‘not started’.

There's always room for debate

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