The Government has appointed a special envoy in a bid to tackle violent extremism.

John Woodcock, the Independent MP for Barrow and Furness, will take on the new role to "focus on improving the UK's response to violent extremism, with a particular focus on tackling far-right violent extremism".

The news came after Mr Woodcock announced that he would not be standing in the General Election because he and his partner are expecting a baby.

He is experienced in working on counter-terrorism legislation as well as being a former member of the Defence and Home Affairs Select Committees, the Home Office said.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, who made the appointment, said Mr Woodcock would bring "a range of skills and experience to the role".

She added: "Our counter-terrorism strategy is always evolving to match the changing threat and this important new role will help to inform this work."

As a backbench MP, I have long argued that the UK must rise to the security challenges posed by far right extremism and radicalised British nationals returning from jihad in foreign conflict zones.

John Woodcock MP