We need more than rhetoric from the Home Secretary

On Wednesday 25th March 2015 the Evening Standard published a letter I wrote on the Home Secretary’s plans to combat extremism:


Dear editor,


I read with interest the proposals set out today by the Home Secretary to bear down on extremism. Indeed, it is right to take a robust approach to defending and promoting the values of our society. However, is it not about time the Home Secretary began practicing what she preaches?


A cynic might ask why, after five years in government, Theresa May has not already implemented the measures she now deems so important. They might also ask why these proposals are somewhat contradictory to her record in the Home Office.


At the heart of her proposals is the idea of a greater partnership between government and communities to prevent extremism, a proposal I warmly welcome. However, let’s not forget that this is the same Home Secretary who slashed funding for the community-led Prevent programme from £17 million to £3 million and has done little since to develop community programmes.


Theresa May says she wants stronger powers, but she abolished control orders and relocation powers which made it easier for terrorists to organise and send people to Syria. Mrs May’s proposals are on the whole welcome, but after five years of complacency we need more than rhetoric from the Home Secretary.