Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Cameron says sorry to MPs over Hizb ut-Tahrir claim

David Cameron
Mr Cameron said he wanted to correct a factual error

Conservative leader David Cameron has apologised to MPs for getting his facts wrong over two schools with alleged links to Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

At prime ministers' questions last week, he said the schools had received funds from a government Pathfinder fund aimed at combating violent extremism.

But it later emerged the money had come from a different government fund.

Mr Cameron admitted the error but said he stood by his point about the inappropriate use of taxpayers' money.

He has now apologised to the Commons for the inaccurate statement.

Speaking during a debate on Afghanistan troops, Mr Cameron said: "Can I start by putting right something I got wrong last week.

"While the two Islamic schools I mentioned got government money while being run by people linked to the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, and while they did receive that money under a Pathfinder scheme, it was not the Pathfinder scheme concerned with combating extremism.

I am sorry for the error
David Cameron


"I am sorry for the error. I believe that when you get a fact wrong you should put it right but I continue to believe that it is wrong that taxpayers' money goes to schools run by extremists."

The row relates to two Muslim schools in Slough and Haringey, north London.

Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is not banned in the UK, denies links to terrorism and says it opposes violence.

The Conservatives have said they will ban the organisation if they win power.

In a statement Hizb ut-Tahrir, which campaigns for an Islamic state across the Middle East, accused Mr Cameron of "baseless allegations" and said it never accepted funding from government.



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