Many writers and activists have withdrawn from the Bradford literature festival (BLF), after it was revealed that the festival received funding from a form of the Government’s Counter-Extremism Strategy, Building a Stronger Britain Together (BSTB).
BSTB is a Government programme that provides “funding and support for groups involved in counter-extremism projects in their communities”.  Part of the 2015 Counter-Extremism Strategy, it operates alongside the PREVENT strategy and funds over 230 groups, as specified on the Government website.   It is the first time that the festival has accepted the funding after its establishment in 2014.
Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, a spoken word artist more publicly known as “thebrownhijabi”, was the first to withdraw from the ten-day festival. She announced her withdrawal on Wednesday through a statement on social media.