David Cameron to fast-track counter-terrorism laws

New legislation will crack down on individual extremists trying to radicalise young people


David Cameron is due to unveil a counter-terrorism bill that will impose greater restrictions on extremists trying to radicalise young people.

Exercising his post-election authority, he will outline the key points of the bill at a National Security Council (NSC) meeting today and formally announce the legislation in the Queen's Speech later this month.The Home Office issued several proposals to crack down on extremism following the murder of fusilier Lee Rigby in London in 2013, but these were vetoed by the Liberal Democrats last year.Under an all-Conservative government, Home Secretary Theresa May now hopes to fast-track the policies through parliament.Measures are likely to include:

  • Disruption orders to limit "harmful activities" of individual extremists, such as airing certain views in public or radicalising young people.
  • New powers to close premises, including mosques, where extremists are attempting to build influence.
  • Increased immigration restrictions for anyone believed to be preaching extremist views.
  • Strengthened powers for the Charity Commission to root out charities that fund terrorism
  • Empowering Ofcom to act against channels that air extremist content.

Additional plans to extend the so-called "snoopers charter" are set to be introduced later in the parliament, says The Guardian. This would include increased powers to retain records of emails and other internet data.

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Today Cameron is expected to tell the NSC that the UK has been a "passively tolerant society" for too long, allowing a "narrative of extremism and grievance" to be fostered."This government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach. As the party of one nation, we will govern as one nation and bring our country together," he will say. "That means actively promoting certain values. Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Democracy. The rule of law. Equal rights regardless of race, gender or sexuality."

May will also address the council, promising to "challenge those who seek to spread hatred and intolerance by forming a new partnership of every person and organisation in this country that wants to defeat the extremists".

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