Plans for a new Counter-Extremism Bill will be top of the agenda today at the first meeting of the new National Security Council (NSC), chaired by the Prime Minister in Downing Street.
Putting British values at the heart of the new government’s approach to tackling extremism, the PM will set out his intention to prioritise new legislation to make it much harder for people to promote dangerous extremist views in our communities. The legislative measures are part of a wider package, announced by the Home Secretary in March, which will be the foundation of this government’s new partnership approach – bringing communities together to defeat extremism and create a better, more secure future for the whole country.
The Prime Minister will say to the NSC:
For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.
This government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach. As the party of one nation, we will govern as one nation, and bring our country together. That means actively promoting certain values.
Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Democracy. The rule of law. Equal rights regardless of race, gender or sexuality.
We must say to our citizens: this is what defines us as a society. To belong here is to believe in these things. And it means confronting head-on the poisonous Islamist extremist ideology. Whether they are violent in their means or not, we must make it impossible for the extremists to succeed.
Home Secretary Theresa May will say:
The twisted narrative of extremism cannot be ignored or wished away. This government will challenge those who seek to spread hatred and intolerance by forming a new partnership of every single person and organisation in this country who wants to defeat the extremists.
We will introduce legislation to combat groups and individuals who reject our values and promote messages of hate. We will empower institutions to stand up against the extremists and challenge bigotry and ignorance. And we will support those who are fighting back against extremism online.
United by our values and the basic principles of our society we are determined to defeat extremism in all its forms.
The new legislation is expected to include:
- introducing Banning Orders for extremist organisations who seek to undermine democracy or use hate speech in public places, but fall short of proscription
- new Extremism Disruption Orders to restrict people who seek to radicalise young people
- powers to close premises where extremists seek to influence others
- strengthening the powers of the Charity Commission to root out charities who misappropriate funds towards extremism and terrorism
- further immigration restrictions on extremists
- a strengthened role for Ofcom to take action against channels which broadcast extremist content
Notes to editors
The report of the PM’s Extremism Taskforce was published in December 2013