The Government is "very conscious" of the need to maintain free speech in its plans to tackle radicalisation, Home Secretary Theresa May has said.
Prime Minister David Cameron will today outline plans to include a new counter-extremism bill in his Queen's Speech, and will say the UK has been a "passively tolerant society" for too long.
Mrs May told Good Morning Britain that action needed to be taken against those who "seek to divide us" with "hatred and intolerance".
She denied the suggestion the measures could harm free speech, saying: "This is an area where we do have to be careful about how we draft the legislation to make sure it does cover what we want it to cover and still enables free speech to take place."
She added: "We’re very conscious to still maintain that value of free speech."
Theresa May will remain the Conservative Home Secretary.
I am glad to announce that Theresa May will remain as Home Secretary.
Home Secretary Theresa May is in difficult territory with the new counter-terrorism policy unveiled today.
We have heard how girls from moderate Muslim families in East London seem to have become radicalised to travel on to Syria and that is the sort of activity that Theresa May is trying to bring in these measures to intercept. She is trying to do deal with things that stop short of terrorism, but fall under the term extremism and that is always going to be a matter of definition.
Now May has really upset some quite moderate Muslim groups with some of the things she has been proposing. Some of them are perplexed with what Sharia Law has to do with this so these are very deep and sensitive waters into which she is stepping.
Theresa May says her counter-extremism policy based on British values does not mean she expects everyone to watch Coronation Street.
In a speech in London, the Home Secretary said she wasn't calling for a "flag to be flown from every building or demanding that everyone drinks Yorkshire Tea".
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has set out what she thinks is the best way to tackle extremism in the UK.
Among the steps she said she would like to see, were:
- An independent figure to investigate the application of Sharia law in England and Wales
- A "positive" campaign to promote British values
- Review of supplementary schools, which are unregulated and not inspected
- Review and reform of inspection arrangements for further education colleges
- Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to conduct an all-force inspection of the police response to honour crimes, female genital mutilation and forced marriage
- Migrants coming to Britain on time-limited visas would be required to sign a declaration saying they will "respect British values" while in the country
- All foreign religious workers in pastoral roles would be required to speak English
- A sharp reduction in funding for translation services and a boost to funding for English language training
- Banning orders for extremist groups that fall short of existing terrorist proscription order thresholds
- Extremism disruption orders, which would be civil powers to be used against extremists
- Closure orders for shutting down premises occupied by extremists or used to host extremist meetings
- Review Ofcom's remit to take action against extremism broadcasts
Home Secretary Theresa May is to appeal to Muslims to help tackle extremism as she insists Britain must no longer tolerate those who fail to respect its values.
In a speech later this morning, Mrs May will say the freedoms on offer in the UK come with "responsibilities" to respect the way others live, along with democracy, equality and the rule of law.
The comments come as Mrs May sets out a broad approach for addressing what she argues is the "serious and widespread" problem of extremism.
She will make a clear distinction between followers of the Islamic faith, which is "entirely compatible" with British values, and extremists who claim there is a "fundamental incompatibility".
Government cannot act alone. Individual people, families and whole communities need help and those of you fighting the extremists deserve our support.
So my invitation is clear - come and join that partnership. If you join us, we will do everything we can to help you.
Home Secretary Theresa May has established an inquiry into undercover policing and the operation of the Metropolitan Police's Special Demonstration Squad, to be led by judge Lord Justice Pitchford.
Theresa May has called the UK's security and intelligence services "true heroes" amid fresh questions over the handling of the Islamic State extremist known as "Jihadi John".
Addressing the Conservative Party's Welsh conference, the Home Secretary issued an impassioned defence of the way they were addressing the danger posed by Islamist extremism and other threats.
"You might not see the work they do. You might not know the risks they take. You might not be told about the plots they stop," May said.
"But these remarkable men and women are true heroes. And they deserve the support and respect of every single one of us."
Theresa May is expected to name a New Zealand high court judge as the latest chair of the troubled child abuse inquiry.
Watch the Home Secretary give details of the appointment in a statement to MPs live.
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People should go online to report crimes instead of dialling 999, Home Secretary Theresa May has claimed.Read the full story ›