22 May, 2022 – Government advisers on extremism have openly questioned the direction of the Home Office’s counter-terrorism programme after it emerged last week that a review was advocating a crackdown on Islamist extremism rather than the threat of the far right.
They questioned why the review of the Prevent strategy carried out by William Shawcross at the behest of the home secretary, Priti Patel, should refocus on Islamism at a time when Prevent referrals over the ideology have fallen to 22%, while a quarter now relate to far-right extremism.
The most recent Prevent data reveals that “mixed, unstable or unclear” ideologies now account for more than half of all referrals to the anti-radicalisation strategy and that a quarter relate to far-right extremism.
Lewys Brace, who advises the government on extremism, said the Shawcross recommendations did not “reflect what’s going on at all, in any way. Mixed ideologies is where it’s all heading.”