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Support the public sector and civil society to identify and counter extremists

Last updated: 12:25pm 31 January 2019

We will support the public sector and civil society in identifying extremists, countering their messages and promoting pluralistic, British values.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.55

Our verdict

There is no universally accepted definition of “extremism”, but the government’s Counter-Extremism Strategy says:

“Extremism is the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist.”

This policy is a promise to support the public sector and citizens in general in efforts to identify and counter extremists and their messages.

Under this government, a new body has been established, the Commission for Countering Extremism (CCE) which:

“supports society to fight all forms of extremism [and] advises the government on new policies to deal with extremism”

The CCE has undertaken a call for evidence on extremism and the outcome will be included in a study to be published in Spring 2019.

In June 2018, the government published its updated Strategy for Countering Terrorism (CONTEST) which broadly outlines initiatives to tackle terrorist activity using four key strands:

  • Prevent
  • Pursue
  • Protect
  • Prepare

Alongside CONTEST and the work of the CCE, the government has introduced the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill, currently awaiting Royal Assent, which aims to create new offences to “reflect contemporary patterns of radicalisation”.

These facts represent a sustained and significant effort to follow through on this policy and collectively they constitute the “support” mentioned in the manifesto pledge. We’re marking this as ‘done’. Follow this policy to stay informed.

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Related policies

  • Prevent terrorists from having a safe space to communicate online
  • Establish a Commission for Countering Extremism
  • Consider what new criminal offences might be needed to defeat extremism

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we reach our verdicts, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why. Or even better, submit an edit.