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Radicalisation and Extremism

Volume 592: debated on Monday 9 February 2015

13. What assessment she has made of the role of voluntary organisations in tackling radicalisation and extremism. (907500)

Voluntary organisations and communities can play an important role in confronting and challenging extremism. Local Prevent projects have reached more than 55,000 people since early 2012, and the Government have supported community-based campaigns such as Families Matter and Making a Stand.

The Minister will be aware of the successful work being done by the Warrington-based Foundation for Peace with young people who are vulnerable to extremism, many of whom have now moved on to become young leaders in their communities. That work is focused mainly on parts of northern England. Would he support a wider roll-out, and will he meet me and members of the foundation to discuss how that could be achieved?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for highlighting the work of the Foundation for Peace, which I visited a couple of years ago. I am aware of its continuing work, and I would be happy to meet him and representatives of the foundation to discuss the steps that they are taking. We are clearly looking for good practice that can be shared around the country to confront and combat extremism and radicalisation.

Will the Minister join me in congratulating the many voluntary organisations that stand up against racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia? Does he agree that we all have a duty to stand up against all such forms of racism and extremism, as well as against those far right extremists who are promoting racism within our society at the present time?

I absolutely endorse the hon. Gentleman’s comments about the responsibility that we all have to stand up against extremism and racism at a time when we are seeing anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. He is absolutely right to underline that call. Our work on Channel, which is about counter-radicalisation, focuses on all forms that might lead to terrorism, and some of the references that come through our Channel referral programme are indeed from the far right. That is why we take an all-embracing approach to our work.