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Theresa May to 'address gaps' in anti-extremism powers

Posted on 4th December 2013 at 18:45pm

Home Secretary Theresa May has promised to "address the gaps" in the government's response to extremism.

Among a series of measures, she said Muslim chaplains would be trained to challenge extremist Islamic views on university campuses.

Mrs May also said the government was looking at new orders to ban radical groups and would work with internet providers to screen extremist content.

A taskforce on extremism was set up after the killing of soldier Lee Rigby.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, currently on trial at the Old Bailey, deny murdering the Fusilier in Woolwich, south-east London, on 22 May.

'Practical steps'

In a written ministerial statement, Mrs said there were plans to give the Charity Commission greater powers to stop the spread of hate-preaching.

She added that the government was also working with leading internet companies to restrict terrorist material online and make it easier for the public to report content.

Mrs May said: "During the last five months, the taskforce has considered a range of measures to confront extremism in all its forms, including in communities, schools, prisons, faith institutions or universities.

"We have today published a document that sets out the conclusions of our discussions and the practical steps that we have agreed to address the gaps in our response to extremism."

The taskforce has met six times since June to examine ways to challenge the dissemination of extremist views in schools, colleges, charities, Islamic centres and prisons.

Senior members of the cabinet, including the deputy prime minister, home secretary and education secretary, have been actively involved, says BBC political correspondent Iain Watson.

There will be a public consultation on some of its recommendations, including whether the home secretary should have new powers to ban groups which preach hatred - if that is what the police advise.

And the government will consult on whether people who attempt to spread extremist views should be banned from getting in touch with those who they are seeking to radicalise and whether they should be prevented from entering certain premises, such as schools or colleges.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2013 BBC

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