Extremism Disruption Orders – October 2015

A number of groups have expressed concerns that the introduction of Extremism Disruption Orders could impact on free speech and freedom of religion. These are, of course, incredibly important values that are at the heart of British society and it is right that we cherish and protect them.

It is also right that in the face of new and developing threats the government seeks to do more to strengthen counter extremism work and to ensure that law enforcement agencies have the powers they need to tackle both violent and non-violent extremism. I also believe this needs to be accompanied by stronger safeguards to make sure these powers are effectively and appropriately used.

I will scrutinise these proposals carefully and consider if they strike the right balance between disrupting extremist behaviour while also protecting free speech and freedom of expression.

The government needs to do more to tackle the threat of extremism, hate crime and the actions of those who seek to divide us. The government was wrong in the last Parliament to cut back on community-led work to prevent young people being drawn into extremism and I believe more should now be done to support communities and groups who want to tackle extremism at grassroots. I would also like to see the government introduce a requirement for all local councils to develop local integration strategies.

I will continue to follow these issues very closely and bear in mind the points that have been raised with me.