Last weekend, there was a car bombing in Londonderry/Derry. This should remind us all that the peace in Northern Ireland is fragile and it will take all communities to come together to ensure that people can live secure and peaceful lives.
The Assistant Chief Constable of the PSNI stated that this was an attack by the New IRA and I wanted assurances that they are a prescribed organisation. I was pleased that the Secretary of State could confirm this as prescribing a group means that more tools are available to the police and security services to track down those wishing to harm civilians.
Today, David Anderson QC – the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation – published his report into the atrocious terrorist attacks we saw earlier this year at the Manchester Arena, London Bridge and Finsbury Park.
As a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) I wanted to focus the Home Secretary’s attention on far right extremism. It is important that we tackle this growing threat head on and I wanted to Home Secretary to outline what the Government will be doing to ensure we are safe from these violent and dangerous groups.
On Tuesday, I asked the Prisons Minister, Sam Gyimah MP, about what action he is taking to tackle extremism in our prisons.
This issue is of vital importance to our country as there are growing concerns that our prisons are becoming places of ridicalisation and the failure by the Tory Government to tackle this threat is opening us up to potential terrorist attacks.
I quoted to the Prisons Minister that Ian Acheson, who undertook the Government’s own review into the services, told the Justice committee only last year that “I do not have the confidence that the national offender management service or indeed, if I may be frank, has the capability or the will to implement some of the recommendations I have made.”
When statements like this are being made by those reviewing the Conservatives legislation are appearing you know that a problem exists within the prisons system.
I am determined that our prisons must be secure, both for us and for prisoners. Only then will we reduce long-term re-offending and keep our streets safe.
On Monday, I questioned the Security Minister about the Prevent Strategy and monitoring online radicalisation.
I asked this question because over a year ago, Zack Davies was sentenced to life imprisonment following his attempt to behead an Asian citizen in a random attack in a Tesco supermarket in Mold. He was radicalised on the internet by neo-Nazi and Hitler-worshipping material. Therefore it is imperative that the Government focus its efforts on all forms of radicalisation on the internet, and not just radical Islamist terrorism.
The Minister agreed with me. He too wishes to ensure that our monitoring covers all form of radicalisation. He informed the House that there are parts of the country now that are seeing an upswing in far right radicalism, overtaking Islamist extremism.
I welcome the Ministers response and will be ensuring that the Government fulfill their words in action. The security of the nation is the first role of Government and one that cannot be allowed to be threatened.