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Volume 461: debated on Monday 11 June 2007

We are constantly reviewing and updating our counter-terrorism strategy. As part of this, I am pleased to announce that, tomorrow, we are launching the security and counter-terrorism science and innovation strategy. This strategy has been developed across government, led by the new Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism in the Home Office, and is a practical example of how we are developing a more strategic and integrated response to the threat. Science and innovation will be critical in driving forward these changes and delivering new counter-terrorism capabilities.

I thank the Home Secretary for his answer. In July last year, the Government published a document on countering terrorism, which was a review of the 12-point plan set out by the Prime Minister after 7/7. Will the Home Secretary give us an update on which of the points have not yet been fulfilled, and tell us what actions he plans to take to fulfil them?

From memory, I think that all but one of them have been either started or completed. On the overall picture, I can tell the hon. Gentleman that we have increased the annual spending on counter-terrorism and resilience to £2.25 billion across government over the past 12 months. In the past month, we have announced the refocusing of the Home Office towards counter-terrorism, crime and immigration, to supplement the effort of the increased resources. Most recently, I announced last week my intention to bring forward a new counter-terrorism Bill containing a range of measures, on which we hope to consult and to achieve, at best, solidarity and, at a minimum, consensus across the House. Two weeks later, I shall be leaving and handing over to a new Home Secretary, so the fight for counter-terrorism, my interest, will go on. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Members of the House for the constructive and emollient approach that they have adopted towards the Home Office in the past 12 months; it would have been very difficult to go on without the laudable appreciation that has so often been exchanged across the Chamber.

We shall certainly miss my right hon. Friend. In dealing with counter-terrorism, is it not also important to remember the victims of terror? Will my right hon. Friend tell me whether anything can be done urgently to look into the approximately 120 outstanding claims of the victims of terror on 7 July? Some have lost limbs or sustained other serious injuries, and they have been waiting a very long time for a final settlement of their claims. Should not this matter receive much greater priority than it has done?

I would love to say—indeed, I will—that, in the case of my hon. Friend missing me, the feeling will be mutual. Attention to the victims of the terrorist atrocities in London is given the highest priority. I cannot think of another occasion on which all the victims of a major tragedy have been seen, or at least had an offer to be seen, by at least two Cabinet Ministers. Both I and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport have tried to do that. When I last inquired about reports of delays in such payments, I was satisfied that most were either the result of complicated medical evidence being awaited or claims having been submitted in the past few months. People sometimes do not claim during the initial period, as the symptoms only become obvious at a later stage. At my hon. Friend’s request, I shall reassure myself that those cases are not being neglected or receiving a lack of priority.