Theresa May accused of burying report on Islamist extremism

Written by Tom Freeman and Nicholas Mairs on 4 July 2017 in News

UK ties with Saudi Arabia questioned as it emerges report on sources of funding of extremist cells in the UK has been held by Theresa May for six months

Theresa May - Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Theresa May has been accused of burying a report into Islamist extremism in order to protect diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia.

Yesterday it emerged via written answers to Green MP Caroline Lucas that the report, originally commissioned by David Cameron in January 2016 and due to be completed by last Easter, has been in the Prime Minister’s possession for at least six months.

During that time there have been at least three related terrorist attacks on the UK, including two during the general election campaign. May also visited Saudi Arabia on a trade mission shortly after triggering Brexit.


It is understood the Home Office report focuses on the funding and fostering of extremism in the UK from foreign influences, particularly in Saudi Arabia.

The Home Office said publication of the review, which was designed to examine the origins and scale of funding for UK extremist groups, was a matter for the Prime Minister.

Ahead of the election, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Amber Rudd denied the report had been suppressed, and said it was never intended for publication.

The Green party co-leader, Caroline Lucas, who pressed the Home Office and Downing Street on the issue, said the delay in publishing the report “leaves question marks over whether their decision is influenced by our diplomatic ties”.

The review was initially undertaken by Cameron in exchange for Liberal Democrat support for extending British airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria in December 2015.

Outgoing Lib Dem leader Tim Farron however said the move to hide the report showed Downing Street was “desperate to keep Saudi Arabia happy”.

“The Government are covering up this report. It’s a scandal that this is sitting in Downing Street gathering dust. What has the prime minister got to hide?,” he said.

“I believe this report will be deeply critical of Saudi [Arabia] and that is why it is being hidden from the public. The government seems too desperate to keep Saudi Arabia happy rather than stand up to them.”

May spoke with Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia yesterday to congratulate him on his recent appointment as Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister and encourage "close bilateral ties" including in "trade, investment and security".

"The Prime Minister raised the issue of the ongoing isolation of Qatar in the region. She reiterated the need for all sides take urgent steps to de-escalate the situation and restore Gulf Cooperation Council unity," a Downing Street spokesperson said.




Related Articles

Breaking the silence: Looking back at the Bosnian war
2 July 2018

The scale of inhumanity inflicted during the Bosnian War in the 1990s is overwhelming but one woman who works in the Scottish Parliament is a reminder of the human cost of conflict

Theresa May: EU is putting citizens at risk over lack of joint working on security after Brexit
29 June 2018

Britain is currently able to share information on criminals and terror threats in real time with EU counterparts

At least 63 Windrush citizens may have been wrongly deported, Sajid Javid admits
16 May 2018

Home secretary Sajid Javid tells the Home Affairs Select Committee more cases of wrongly deported British citizens may emerge

UK Government knew about impact of hostile environment policy on Windrush generation years ago
23 April 2018

Home Office letter shows ministers knew about the wider impact of the so-called “hostile environment” crackdown on illegal immigration in May 2016

Related Sponsored Articles

Associate feature: 5 ways IoT is transforming the public sector
5 February 2018

Vodafone explores some of the ways IoT is significantly improving public sector service delivery

Share this page