May warns of UK radicalisation

Home Secretary Theresa May has warned that thousands are potentially at risk of radicalisation in the UK, adding that the Government is already working with some 2,000 people.

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Clegg: Charter has no relevance to 'sickening events'

The statement released by Nick Clegg's spokesman warned against Theresa May's call for the failed "snooper's charter" to be revived to empower the police and intelligence agencies.

There is currently no suggestion that the proposals in the draft communications data bill would have had any relevance to the sickening events.

There are already substantial powers in place to track the communications of criminals and terrorists.

As stated in the Queen's Speech, the Government will continue to work to address some of the challenges posed by new technology.

– Spokesman for the Deputy Prime Minister

Clegg warns against 'knee-jerk' response to murder

A spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has issued a statement warning against "knee-jerk" policy decisions following the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

We are all hugely thankful for the exceptional work the police and the security services do to keep us all and our country safe.

Until people know more about this horrific attack, we should be careful of leaping to conclusions.

Both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have cautioned against knee-jerk responses.

– Spokesman for the Deputy Prime Minister


Yvette Cooper: Labour welcomes new terrorism task force

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The shadow home secretary has welcomed the Government's task force on tackling extremism after the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

Yvette Cooper said: "The police investigation is still under way into the vile murder in Woolwich, and there will need to be charges in court. Therefore we can't speculate at this stage on what caused this horrific attack or what might have made a difference.

"But we welcome the Government's task force on tackling extremism and will seek to support it.

"However, as well as the issues raised by the Prime Minister, the task force should also rethink the changes and reductions made in the Prevent strategy by Theresa May in 2011.

"Ministers should also use the task force to look again at the replacement of control orders by TPIMs, as the inability to relocate terror suspects outside London creates added pressure on the Met and the security service".

Theresa May hints at revival of 'snooper's charter'

Home Secretary Theresa May hinted that the failed "snooper's charter" could be revived and appeared to be gearing up for a fight with Liberal Democrats.

The Home Secretary, speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, said that there was a reference to the plans in the Queen's Speech.

I have always been clear that access to communications data is essential for law enforcement agencies and the intelligence agencies.

There is a reducing capability in relation to access to communications data.

– Home Secretary Theresa May

Earlier this month Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg blocked the Home Secretary's plans for a communications bill that would have given police and security services access to records of individuals' internet use.

We don't know whether if that bill had been enacted two years ago it would have prevented this incident.

What we can certainly say is that it might have done and what we can absolutely say for certain is that if the communications data bill, with the safeguards that were agreed in the last session of parliament, was introduced then it would be very likely to prevent some attacks of this kind in the future.

– Lord Carlile

Liberal Democrat Lord Carlile, who until 2011 was the independent reviewer of government anti-terror laws, said he was "shocked" at Mr Clegg's "political" decision.

Lord Carlile was speaking on the Sky News Murnaghan programme, and wrote an article in the Mail on Sunday.

May: Thousands 'potentially' at risk of radicalisation

Home Secretary Theresa May has said that the government's Prevent strategy, which aims to stop the radicalisation of people by extremist ideologies, works with around 2,000 people.

Asked on the Andrew Marr Show about the scale of the problem, she said: "You have people on different points to what could be a path to violent extremism.

Theresa May said Thousands are 'potentially' at risk of radicalisation. Credit: BBC / Andrew Marr Show

"We have introduced a new programme, which isn't for those immediately at danger of radicalisation, but for those that are perhaps further out."

She said that around 2,000 people were involved with this part of the programme, and that more work is taking place with prisoners.

The Home Secretary said it was right that the government had the Prevent programme, countering the ideologies that lead to radicalisation, and working in institutions like prisons "where radicalisation might take place".

When asked if there were thousands of people at risk, she replied: "Potentially".

Alan Johnson: Communications Bill a 'resignation issue'

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson has said he is in complete agreement with Theresa May on the need to pass the Communications Data Bill before the general election.

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "We need to get this on the statute book before the next general election and I think it is absolutely crucial.

"Indeed I think it is a resignation issue for a Home Secretary if the Cabinet do not support her in this central part of what the security services do."

The Communications Data Bill - dubbed the "snooper's charter" by its opponents - would give security forces greater powers to monitor communications such as emails.


Theresa May: 500 police working on Woolwich case

Home Secretary Theresa May has said around 500 police officers are working on the murder case that saw soldier Lee Rigby killed in last week's attack in Woolwich.

She told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show:

There were some further arrests last night, some further searches have taken place. The police and the security services are working very hard in relation to this case.

Since the beginning of the year we have seen three counter-terrorism trials in which 18 people have been found guilty and sentenced to around 150 years ...

We now have around 500 officers and others who are working on the case, including some officers who have been brought through from counter-terrorism units elsewhere in the country.

– Home Secretary Theresa May

Alan Johnson: 'There is a fear about lone wolves'

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson has said that the recent Woolwich attack does indicate that the incident may have involved more than a 'couple of lone wolves'.

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson Credit: BBC / Andrew Marr Show

He said: "Now that another three people have been arrested, it looks like it is wider than a couple of lone wolves - that's the point about making sure you piece everything together. It is a fear."

"In a free democracy there are limits to the kind of curtailment you can put on people's activities. It's much easier in places like China, for instance."

Mr Johnson was speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

"When you ban an organisation, you have to be absolutely sure that it is not counter-productive," he added.

Labour MP: Coalition are failing to tackle extremism

A former cabinet minister has criticised the government's strategy to tackle Islamist extremism, claiming that it is failing, reports the Observer.

Labour's Hazel Blears MP told the newspaper that those vulnerable to extremist messages were being identified too late.

She added that it was a mistake to take apart her party's policy of funding local authorities that have a population of more than 5% Muslim, helping to stop radicalism by engaging with the community.

David Cameron to launch new terrorism task force

David Cameron stands outside 10 Downing Street Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

David Cameron is launching a new terror task force to crack down on extremism after the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, Downing Street confirmed tonight in a report by the Mail on Sunday.

The Cabinet level group, which will also bring in intelligence and police chiefs when needed, will focus on radical preachers who target potential recruits in jails, schools, colleges and mosques.

It will monitor trends in radicalisation and tackle "poisonous narratives", Number 10 said.

The group will include Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Home Secretary Theresa May, Chancellor George Osborne, other key Cabinet ministers, Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and Andrew Parker, the director general of the Security Service.

It will be known as the Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Task Force (TERFOR).

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