Skip to main content


Volume 634: debated on Monday 8 January 2018

The Government’s counter-extremism strategy, which was published in October 2015, established a comprehensive approach to the tackling of extremism through a wide range of activities aimed at countering extremist ideology. We are also launching a new commission for countering extremism, which will identify and challenge extremism and advise the Government on new policies to address it. The appointment of a lead commissioner will be announced shortly.

Flying the flag of the political wing of the anti-Semitic terrorist organisation Hezbollah is provocative, incites extremism and is deeply offensive to our Jewish community, but the flag can still be seen flying at events such as the al-Quds day marches in London. Will the Home Secretary update the House on what steps are being taken to prevent that from happening?

I am aware of, and very sympathetic to, the issues that my hon. Friend has raised. I have discussed the matter with Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, and I know that the police are not ignoring it. As my hon. Friend has rightly said, only Hezbollah’s military wing is currently a proscribed terrorist organisation, but its flags are the same as those of the political wings that are not proscribed. For an offence to be committed, the context and manner in which the flag is displayed must demonstrate that it is specifically in support of the proscribed military wing of the group.

Last month, in Turkey, I met a British national who was due to be deported back to the United Kingdom on suspicion of terrorism. The Turkish authorities gave us details of six other British nationals who have been accepted back to the UK. What is the total number of Brits who have been deported back from Turkey on suspicion of terrorism and joining Daesh, and how many of them are facing charges in the UK?

The hon. Gentleman has drawn attention to a very important aspect of our relationship with Turkey. When people who have been potentially fighting for ISIS are returning to this country, we have a managed return process so that we can prosecute. I will certainly come back to the hon. Gentleman with an update on the numbers, but I can reassure him and the House that we take every return very seriously and that, when we can, we will always prosecute.