Prime Minister To Propose New Powers To Tackle Extremism
David Cameron is set to propose new powers to target extremism, criticising the UK for being a “passively tolerant society” for too long.
The new counter-extremism bill, which will be in the Queen’s Speech on 27 May, has been announced in an attempt to confront what the Prime Minister has described as a “poisonous” extremist ideology.
Based on proposals which were originally presented by Home Secretary Theresa May prior to the general election, the bill will include “extremism disruption orders” and powers to shut down premises used by extremists as well as new immigration laws.
Theresa May has said the government wants to “bring people together to ensure we are living together as one society”.
She said: “What we are proposing is a bill which will have certain measures within it, measures such as introducing banning orders for groups and disruption orders for individuals, for those who are out there actively trying to promote this hatred and intolerance which can lead to division in our society and undermines our British values.
“But it will be part of a bigger picture, a strategy which will also have as a key part of it actually promoting our British values, our values of democracy, rule of law, tolerance and acceptance of different faiths.”
She added that the focus will be on “extremism of all sorts… that is seeking to promote hatred, that is seeking to divide our society, that is seeking to undermine the very values that make us a great country to live in”.
The proposed plans may see some opposition in the new Parliament, especially when matters relating to people’s right to free speech are considered.
Among the critics of the intended measures is Jonathan Russell from the Quilliam Foundation, a think tank which challenges extremism, who has said that they would tackle symptoms instead of causes.
He said that the new plans will be of detriment to the balance between national security and civil liberties, potentially have altering the dynamics between the two “negatively”.
He added: “I don’t think it will tackle radicalisation. I don’t think it will change the numbers of people who are attracted to this poisonous ideology. And I don’t think it will attack the ideology itself.”