Anti-terror strategy must also focus on far-right extremism, says Shadow Home Secretary

The Government's anti-terror strategy needs to focus on far-right extremism as much as Islamic extremism, the Shadow Home Secretary has said.

Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 8:12 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 2:53 pm
A police officer lays some flowers passed over by a member of the public, close to Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, after one man died and eight people were taken to hospital and a person arrested after a rental van struck pedestrians. Picture by John Stillwell/PA Wire

Diane Abbott said there has been a perception in the Islamic community that the Government's deradicalisation programme, Prevent, has been targeting Muslims.

In her first interview since returning to her shadow cabinet post following a break due to her type 2 diabetes, the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington set out what Labour would do differently to tackle terrorism.

"Our response would be to emphasise that the Prevent programme needs to be as much about far-right extremism as about Islamic extremism," she told BBC Breakfast.

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"There has been a sense in the Islamic community in the past that Prevent and counter-terrorism strategy generally was targeted on them.

"But we are seeing this rise in far-right extremism. It's about a year since the murder of my late colleague Jo Cox by a far-right extremist and we do have to take these issues more seriously."

Ms Abbott was speaking in the wake of an attack on worshippers near Finsbury Park Mosque in north London.