Cameron plans extremism crackdown in Parliament
Cameron has included new laws to stop the so-called “hate speakers” from working with children and other vulnerable groups in the Queen’s Speech next Wednesday, marking the beginning of a new parliament session.
The speech, made by Queen Elizabeth II and prepared by the government to set the agenda for the year’s parliamentary business, will focus on a new Counter-extremism Bill designed to stop radicals infiltrating schools, colleges, charities and care homes.
Among other measures expected to be in the bill are plans to ban such radical preachers from posting material online and powers to allow the UK’s media watchdog Ofcom to block broadcasts of “unacceptable extremist material”.
According to the ‘Sunday Telegraph’, UK’s national criminal records checking service will be reformed so that the records of individuals with convictions for terrorism, or other clear connections to extremism, will be disclosed to education officials, councils, and other employers.
While announcing his government’s counter-extremism strategy plan last year, Cameron had said: “We know that extremism is really a symptom; ideology is the root cause but the stakes are rising and that demands a new approach. So we have a choice - do we choose to turn a blind eye or do we choose to get out there and make the case for our British values.
“A key part of this new approach is going further to protect children and vulnerable people from the risk of radicalisation by empowering parents and public institutions with all the advice, tools and practical support they need.”
However, the bill which was expected to have been published by now has been delayed amid reports that UK Home Office officials have struggled to produce a legally watertight definition of “extremism”.
The Counter-extremism Bill is expected to include powers to report individuals who are extremists if they want to work with vulnerable groups, in the same way that people who have convictions for child sex offences are registered with the government’s Disclosure and Barring Service.