The manifesto, launched in Halifax on Thursday morning, lists “Islamist extremism” as a threat to social cohesion and civil liberties.
“We will consider what new criminal offences might need to be created, and what new aggravated offences might need to be established, to defeat the extremists,” the manifesto reads.
“We will support the public sector and civil society in identifying extremists, countering their messages and promoting pluralistic, British values.”
However, in a letter to the parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights dated February 27, Home Secretary Amber Rudd accepted a legal definition for the term “extremism” had not yet been found.
“As your committee report makes clear, this policy area raises complex issues relating to freedom of speech and the importance of having a clear legal definition of extremism,” Rudd wrote.
The letter was a reply to requests by the human rights committee for updates on the government’s plans for a counter-extremism bill.
“These are issues that my department continues to consider and, as you know, we have committed to a full consultation on any new legislation before it is introduced,” the Tory frontbencher added.
The bill has been two years in the making, with accusations by the human rights committee, chaired by Labour’s Harriet Harman, that Rudd and her team are stuck without an answer to what “non-violent extremism” actually means.