Page last updated at 20:39 GMT, Tuesday, 7 June 2011 21:39 UK

May outlines changes to terrorism-prevention strategy

Home Secretary Theresa May has outlined changes to the way that the government seeks to prevent terrorist attacks in the UK.

In a Commons statement on 7 June 2011, Mrs May said that a review led by Lib Dem peer and independent reviewer of anti-terrorist laws Lord Carlile of Berriew had identified serious failings with the existing policy - known as Prevent - set up in 2007.

She claimed that money from the £63m-a-year budget had been given to "the very extremist organisations that Prevent should have been confronting".

The home secretary also argued that Prevent had "failed to tackle the extremist ideology that not only undermines the cohesion of our society, but also inspires would be terrorists to seek to bring death and destruction to our towns and cities".

She pledged not to "make the same mistakes", announcing that Prevent's resources would in future be targeted at "stopping people from joining or supporting al-Qaeda, its affiliates, or like-minded groups".

"But Prevent must also recognise and tackle the insidious impact of non-violent extremism, which can create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism and can popularise views which terrorists exploit," she added.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper accused Mrs May of political "point-scoring", and said there was a gap between Mrs May's rhetoric and the reality of the government's policy on terrorism.

Budget cuts would make it more difficult for Whitehall to deal with extremists, she argued.

Mrs May was "in for a fall" if she thought she could solve the problem without making any mistakes, Ms Cooper concluded.


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