Theresa May plans anti-extremism drive if Tories win election : The Guardian

Prime minister is expected to revive ideas set out when she was home secretary in wake of Manchester attack.

Theresa May is expected to launch a major offensive to “drive extremism out” of the public sector and civil society in the wake of the Manchester terrorist attack if the Conservatives win the general election on 8 June.

A new commission charged with identifying and exposing examples of extremism is to be set up, and support will be given to the public sector and civil society in identifying extremists and countering their messages.

The campaign detailed in the Tory manifesto will be accompanied by the consideration of new criminal offences to outlaw non-violent extremism in Britain for the first time.

The campaign is expected to revive a shopping list of measures first set out by May when she was home secretary just before the 2015 general election. She called then for the development of a “counter-entryism strategy” across government and the public sector, citing the Trojan horse affair in Birmingham in which she alleged “extremists used entryist tactics to infiltrate legitimate organisations to promote their own agendas”.

In 2015 she also detailed a wide-ranging strategy to tackle non-violent as well as violent extremism in Britain, which included banning orders for extremist groups that fall short of current terrorism proscription thresholds, extremism disruption orders against individuals who incite hatred and closure orders against premises used to host extremist meetings or speakers.

In her speech two years ago May compared the battle against extremism to the concerted action taken last century to tackle racism. She said the kind of approach taken against racism, which involved banning discriminatory behaviour and punishing racially aggravated crime, was needed for counter-extremism.



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