This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Foreign Secretary William Hague spoke about the recent attacks in Oslo and Utoya.
Speaking about the assistance that the UK is offering to Norway, the Foreign Secretary said:
“I was in touch with the Norwegian Foreign Minister immediately after these events on Friday. Also the Prime Minister telephoned the Norwegian Prime Minister. The Home Secretary has been in touch with her counterpart. Our ambassador in Oslo of course has been in close touch with the Norwegian authorities and we have a British police officer based there in our embassy to coordinate any assistance. And of course in all of those conversations, we have expressed the deep condolences of the people of Britain to the people and the government of Norway and we’ve offered any practical assistance that can be useful to them - practical assistance in terms of police cooperation and in terms also of our experience in this country of coming to terms with tragedies of this kind. And we will keep in close touch with them of course over the coming hours and days as more information develops on this.”
Asked about the focus of the UK’s counter-terrorism effort, the Foreign Secretary said:
“First of all, we must not think because of this event that Al Qaeda inspired terrorism is not a threat. It remains in all assessments the single biggest terrorist threat to the United Kingdom and to our European allies. That remains the case. But the other answer to that is that in our counter-terrorism strategy, it’s very clear that that’s not the only form of threat that we may face. The National Security Council will meet tomorrow in London and we will look at the lessons to be learned from this. We will check that enough attention is being given to all forms of terrorism. And of course we’ve put in place over the last few years - in the last government and the current government - strong defences. We have tight firearms controls in Britain and we have very tight controls on the sale of material needed to manufacture a bomb, and we have the most highly professionally trained firearms officers in the world and we have the police and intelligence agencies I think working well together in making sure - as best as we can - that the country is safe from terrorist or extremist attack. “