Ex-communities minister Baroness Warsi has attacked the Government’s proposed reform of Prevent, warning Whitehall risks creating a ‘hierarchy of extremism’ and an ‘unnecessary culture war’.
In a hard-hitting interview with The MJ, Britain’s first female Muslim Cabinet minister said she was disappointed by William Shawcross’ review of Prevent, the Government’s major counter-extremism strategy.
Baroness Warsi urged the Home Office and Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to think again before implementing Mr Shawcross’ controversial recommendations.
Her intervention comes days after far-right groups staged violent protests against the Home Office’s use of a Knowsley hotel for asylum seekers.
She said: ‘They [the recommendations] seek to create a hierarchy of extremism, with a distorted focus on Islamist extremism above all others, particularly when we know far-right extremism has been on the rise.
‘This threatens to undermine the good work of the police, security services and local authorities in tackling the kind of far-right activity we saw in Knowsley just two days after the Shawcross review.’
- Latest: The PROP response to the Shawcross Review of Prevent (Report, 2023)
- Shawcross Prevent reforms risk ‘slide into authoritarianism’, critics warn (News, 2023)
- What the Knowsley riot tells us about Suella Braverman and the Shawcross Report (News, 2023)