Theresa May: There is "far too much tolerance of extremism in our country"

Written by John Ashmore on 5 June 2017 in News

Prime Minister vows to take tougher action on combating Islamist extremism in the wake of the latest terrorist attack on London

Downing Street - image credit: Dods

Theresa May has declared "enough is enough" as she vowed tougher action on combating Islamist extremism in the wake of the latest terrorist attack on London.

The attack on London Bridge last night saw seven people killed and 48 injured, with the three terrorists shot dead by armed police in Borough Market.

Speaking on the steps of Downing Street, the Prime Minister said "things need to change" and promised action on several fronts to take on extremism.


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She vowed to clamp down on online extremism and review the Government's counter-terrorism strategy in response to a "new trend" of copycat terror attacks.

May revealed the police and intelligence services had succeeded in disrupting five "credible plots" since March's attack on Westminster Bridge, but argued defeating terrorism required a broad approach.

"Since the emergence of the threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism our country has made significant progress in disrupting plots and protecting the public," she said.

"But it is time to say enough is enough. Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values but when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change."

"It cannot be defeated through military intervention alone, it will not be defeated through the maintenance of a permanent defensive counter-terrorism operation, however skilful its leader and practitioners.

"It will only be defeated when we turn people's minds away from this violence and make them understand that our values, pluralistic British values, are superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate."

Her statement suggested the Government would be looking at tougher rules to stamp out online radicalisation, including working with other Western countries on cyber-security.

"We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide.

"We need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorism planning and we need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risk of extremism online."

And she called for more action across government and society to tackle Islamist ideology.

"While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is, to be frank, far too much tolerance of extremism in our country, so we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out across the public sector and across society," she declared.

"That will require some difficult and often embarrassing conversations, but the whole of our country needs to come together to take on this extremism and we need to live our lives not in a series of separated, segregated communities but as one truly United Kingdom."

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