The UK needs a minister dedicated to tackling terrorism, the Commons home affairs select committee chairman said.
Mr Denham is particularly concerned about the Muslim Taskforce
No-one in government is in day-to-day charge of bringing together counter terrorism, ex-home office minister John Denham told the BBC.
Initiatives like the Muslim Taskforce, set up after the London bombs, can lose political momentum, he said.
He wants the minister to be involved in discussion and practical work to fight extremist ideas at a community level.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Actually nobody in government is day-to-day in charge of bringing together all the elements of counter terrorism, particularly fighting extremist violent ideas at community level.
"And I think if you had a single minister who brought all of those elements together at a senior point in government you perhaps avoid this problem of things being started and not seen through."
He particularly cited the Muslim Taskforce as an initiative where the momentum may have been lost in what he believes is crucial in the fight against extremist ideas.
Set up to advise the government about the causes of extremism, in the wake of the London Tube bombings last July, the taskforce proposed several ideas, including a Mosques and Imams National Advisory Body (MINAB).
But taskforce members are now critical of the way the MINAB is being set up, and one of them, the British Muslim Forum, has started its own process of consultation with its members and affiliated mosques.