23 Mar 2015

Theresa May warns radical Islamists the ‘game is up’

The home secretary announces a Conservative party wishlist of measures to tackle extremism after the election, including a ban for hate preachers and a campaign to promote “British values”.

Home Secretary Theresa May has revealed a host of measures she wants to introduce if the Tory party forms a majority government after the 7 May general election.

We will stand united and together we will defeat you Theresa May

The policy revamp would include a review of supplementary schools – which are currently unregulated – and a requirement for all foreign religious workers in pastoral roles to speak English.

“To those who choose consciously to reject our values and the basic principles of our society, the message is equally clear – the game is up,” she said in her last major speech before the official start of the election campaign.

“Where you seek to spread hate, we will disrupt you,” she added.

“Where you break the law, we will prosecute you. Where you seek to divide us, we will stand united and together we will defeat you.”

“There is increasing evidence that a small but significant number of people living in Britain – almost all of whom are British citizens – reject our values,” she said.

“We have been clear all along that the government’s counter-extremism strategy must seek to defeat extremism in all its forms, but it’s obvious from the evidence that the most serious and widespread form of extremism we need to confront is Islamist extremism.”

Mrs May said extremism could not “just be ignored” or wished away, but “must be tackled head-on”.

The planned measures would include:

  • Banning orders for extremist groups (these would fall short of existing terrorist proscription order thresholds)

  • Extremism disruption orders – civil powers to be used against extremists

  • Closure orders – for shutting down premises occupied by extremists or used to host extremist meetings

  • Migrants coming to Britain on time-limited visas would be required to sign a declaration saying they will “respect British values” while in the country

  • All foreign religious workers in pastoral roles would be required to speak English

  • A sharp reduction in funding for translation services and a boost to funding for English language training

  • Review Ofcom’s remit to take action against extremism broadcasts

  • An independent figure to investigate the application of Sharia law in England and Wales

  • A “positive” campaign to promote British values

  • Review of supplementary schools, which are unregulated and not inspected

  • Review and reform of inspection arrangements for further education colleges

  • Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary would conduct an all-force inspection of the police response to honour crimes, female genital mutilation and forced marriage

Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, said: “Every day we hear of more British citizens being groomed, radicalised and trying to travel to Syria to join a vile barbaric organisation.

“Yet Theresa May’s strategy has failed to tackle the problem. She has had five years as home secretary to do all these things, yet too many of her promises are the opposite of what she has done in government.”