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Farron: May 'failing to keep Britain safe'

Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron making sandwiches for voters during a visit to Cafe Vigo in Edinburgh Credit: PA

Theresa May is failing to keep Britain secure, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has claimed, as he called on the Prime Minister to publish a report thought to focus on alleged Saudi funding of extremist groups in the UK.

Mr Farron said that the Prime Minister must be ready to have "difficult" talks with the Gulf kingdom, to which the UK recently approved arms export licences worth £3.5 billion.

In the wake of Saturday's terror attack at London Bridge, Mr Farron accused Mrs May of making the wrong choices on security, reducing police funding while handing billions to business in corporation tax cuts.

And he dismissed the Prime Minister's call for tighter regulation of the internet as "posturing", arguing that she should instead be working with online giants to develop methods for keeping people safe while maintaining free speech.

Nick Clegg and David Cameron agreed an inquiry into foreign funding of extremists. Credit: TOBY MELVILLE/WPA Rota/Press Association Images

Mrs May's predecessor David Cameron agreed to an inquiry into foreign funding of Islamist extremists in 2015 as part of a deal with the Lib Dems in return for their support on the extension of air strikes into Syria.

Reports last week suggested that the findings may never be published because of the sensitivity of information about Saudi Arabia, though the Home Office said a decision on its release would be made after the election.

Publishing that report to expose the sources of funding for violent extremism in this country, that's a way of making sure that we keep ourselves safe and make sure that we damage those who would seek to hurt us.

It bewilders me why Theresa May, both as home secretary and now as Prime Minister, is sitting on that report that clearly contains evidence that would be embarrassing - maybe to some of the country's supposed friends - but will also help us know where the money is coming from, so we can stop it.

They are sitting on this report, you can only assume that their motives are that it would be embarrassing for the Conservative Government for it to be discovered who it is that is sending money to violent extremists in this country.

– Tim Farron, Lib Dem leader

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