The Commission for Countering Extremism, confirmed in the Queen’s Speech, will have a clear remit to identify extremism and advise the government on new policies, laws and other actions that may be required to tackle it. It will also support communities and the public sector to confront extremism wherever it exists and promote British values.
The commission will also help to train schools and colleges to spot the warning signs and stamp out extremism - as they have with racism. And because there is a strong correlation between extremism and the poor treatment of women and girls, the Commission will have a specific responsibility to ensure women’s rights are upheld.
The successful candidate for lead commissioner will advise the Home Secretary on the commission’s future role and shape and agree with the Home Secretary its priorities.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:
This government is committed to tackling extremism in all its forms – as the Prime Minister said after the London Bridge attack earlier this year, enough is enough.
The new Commission for Countering Extremism will have a key role to play in this fight. It will identify and challenge tolerance of extremism, tackle extremist ideology and promote British values, learning the lessons from the struggle against racism in the twentieth century.
The Lead Commissioner will head up this vital work and I look forward to working with the successful candidate.
Notes to editors
This government is already making progress in tackling extremism. We have:
- Improved our understanding of extremism through the work of the Extremism Analysis Unit (EAU) – which has also helped disrupt extremist activity.
- Awarded funding and support for 90 civil society groups to tackle extremism via our £63 million ‘Building a Stronger Britain Together’ programme.
- Grown our network of community coordinators to develop our knowledge of extremism locally and identify and support groups challenging extremism. 28 are in post, with 42 roles expected to be filled. And we have produced, with local government partners, guidance for local authorities on the tools available to tackle extremism.
- Published – via a Written Ministerial Statement laid before Parliament – the main findings from the review into Islamist extremist funding and what government is doing in response to those findings.
- Published a new Hate Crime Action Plan (in July 2016). We are funding protective security measures for places of worship and innovative community-led projects to tackle hate crime. We have also taken steps to increase reporting of hate crime, and ensured the police are now recording hate crimes by the religion of the victim.
- Continued to act to prevent extremism from gaining a foothold in our schools, including through strengthening regulations to safeguard children missing from education (introduced in September 2016).
- Concluded independent reviews of integration and of Islamist extremism in prisons. In direct response to the latter’s recommendations, we have introduced prison separation units in to manage a small number of the highest risk prisoners away from the general prison population. HM Government will respond to the integration review in the coming months.
- Launched an independent review into the application of Sharia law. The Chair will submit her final report later this year.
- Introduced new powers – via the Digital Economy Act 2017 – which enable Ofcom to act quickly against community radio stations and Internet Protocol TV channels when they breach Ofcom’s content standards. We’ve also revised the UK’s Broadcasting Code to make clear that hate speech and derogatory content is not permitted.