Government criticised for ‘supressing’ extremism review

The Government has been condemned for refusing to publish the full report into the extent of funding for Islamist extremism in Britain for “national security reasons” after the Home Secretary Amber Rudd published a 430-word review of its findings.

Jul 13, 2017

The Government has been condemned for refusing to publish the full report into the extent of funding for Islamist extremism in Britain for “national security reasons” after the Home Secretary Amber Rudd published a 430-word review of its findings. In 2015, David Cameron commissioned a review of funding for Islamist extremism in the UK, but campaigners alleged the report had been “suppressed” because it found Saudi Arabia was the biggest provider. However, the summary, released on Wednesday (July 12), said the vast majority of funding for extremism comes from anonymous, small private donations from people based in the UK, who often do not understand the extremist credentials of the groups they are supporting. It also confirmed that a small minority did get significant funds from countries which taught “deeply conservative forms of Islam” to individuals who became “of extremist concern”. Charities will now have to declare any overseas funding to the Charity Commission. Following the publication of the summary, Ms Rudd said: “This Government is committed to stamping out extremism in all its forms. “The Commission for Counter-Extremism, which the Prime Minister announced earlier this year, will have a key role to play in this fight. “We are determined to cut off all funding that fuels the evils of extremism and terrorism, and will work closely with international and domestic partners to tackle this threat.” Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said there was “strong suspicion” the Government was withholding the full findings because of trade links with the richest Arab state. “The public has a right to know if any governments, foreign or domestic organisations or individuals are funding extremism in this country, and what the UK Government intends to do to prevent that,” she added. “Of course security intelligence should not be compromised, but this is easily achieved by redaction and other means. The Government would never have commissioned this report if it considered this problem insurmountable. “Instead, there is a strong suspicion this report is being suppressed to protect this Government’s trade and diplomatic priorities, including in relation to Saudi Arabia. The only way to allay those suspicions is to publish the report in full.” Former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron added: “It seems like the Government, yet again, is putting our so-called friendship with Saudi Arabia above our values. “This shoddy decision is the latest in a long line where we have put profit over principle.” The report comes two days after the High Court ruled the Government was not breaking the law by continuing to license arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

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