Security and Counter-terrorism

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:34 pm on 20th January 2010.

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Photo of Gordon Brown Gordon Brown The Prime Minister, Leader of the Labour Party 12:34 pm, 20th January 2010

It is important to get the balance right between the need to protect the liberties of every individual citizen and the security that every citizen in this country has the right to expect. We will look at the judgment on control orders, but I have to say that in ensuring the protection of our country's security, it has been necessary for us to track a number of people who might be dangerous and could otherwise threaten the security and law and order of our communities.

I agree with the right hon. Gentleman's points about Yemen and Somalia. Our job is to make sure that we can help the legitimate Government in Yemen to deal with extremism within its borders, to expose extremist and radical preachers who have a perverted view of Islam, to encourage the moderates and reformers, and to ensure that we bring into alliance with us the people of Yemen who have other interests that need to be met, but who cannot and should not look to al-Qaeda for the solution to their grievances. The same issues apply in Somalia as well. I assure the right hon. Gentleman that our policy in Somalia and in Yemen, as in Pakistan, is to back those elements who are standing firm against al-Qaeda and against a perverted view of Islam on the basis of which jihad is preached against the rest of the world.

As far as measures taken here are concerned, I emphasise to the right hon. Gentleman that maximum care is taken to deal with the civil liberties issues that arise in every case. For example, in installing the security machines at airports to ensure that security checks are properly done, we have designed a code of conduct to protect the liberties of the individual.

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