Clause 24 — Power to issue guidance

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs) 2:57 pm, 7th January 2015

I beg to move amendment 7, page 15, line 21, leave out subsection (5) and insert—

‘(5) Before giving guidance under this section, or revising guidance already given, the Secretary of State must lay before Parliament—

(a) the proposed guidance or proposed revisions; and

(b) a draft of an order providing for the guidance, or revisions to the guidance, to come into force.

(6) The Secretary of State must make the order, and issue the guidance or (as the case may be) make the revisions to the guidance, if the draft of the order is approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(7) Guidance, or revisions to guidance, come into force in accordance with an order under this section.

(8) Such an order—

(a) is to be a statutory instrument; and

(b) may contain transitional, transitory or saving provision.”

This would ensure that statutory guidance produced under Clause 24 was subject to an affirmative resolution of each House.

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker (First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means), First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means

With this it will be convenient to discuss amendment 6, in clause 29, page 17, line 29, leave out subsection (7) and insert—

‘(7) To support panels exercising their functions under this section the Secretary of State must—

(a) provide guidance on the exercise of those functions;

(b) provide a list of approved providers for de-radicalisation programmes that may be referred to under subsection (4); and

(c) ensure that the providers listed under paragraph (b) are subject to monitoring.”

This would give a greater role to the Secretary of State in supporting the role of local support panels. The Secretary of State would have to provide guidance (rather than it being optional) and she would also have to provide a list of approved providers for de-radicalisation programmes and ensure they would be subject to monitoring.

Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

Let me begin by expressing my horror at the terror attack that took place in Paris today. I am sure that the thoughts of the whole House will be with the family and friends of the victims of that attack, and, of course, we all stand in solidarity with the French people at this time.

Part 5 of the Bill contains measures to counter extremism in communities and to deal directly with vulnerable individuals. As Ministers will recall, it was the last Labour Government who introduced both the Prevent agenda and the Channel programme, and we remain absolutely committed to supporting and, indeed, strengthening both policies. Obviously the Government reviewed Prevent when they came to office, and it is important for us to view the measures in the Bill in the context of the changes that they introduced. I think that those changes are a rather mixed bag, and I am not sure that they were particularly successful.

Both Prevent and Channel require a partnership between central Government and local agencies, and amendments 7 and 6 are intended to ensure that the Government support local bodies in the delivery of both programmes. While we agree that Prevent should involve local delivery, it seems to us that the recent problems stem from central Government. There has been a marked decline in Prevent’s funding, which has fallen from £17 million a year to just £1 million. Some of that clearly resulted from a conscious decision, but there also appears to have been mismanagement. Every year £5.1 million has been allocated for local delivery, but I understand that over the past four years more than 60% of it has gone unclaimed.

In Committee, I raised a number of concerns about the delivery of Prevent at national level, and about the monitoring and support supplied by central Government to local agencies. I am sure that the Minister for Security and Immigration, James Brokenshire—although I am pleased to see the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Karen Bradley in the Chamber today—recalls that I spoke at length about my concern about the performance of the Department for Education. I do not want to go through all that again, but I think that the Government’s role should be formalised in the Bill so that we know what is expected of them.

So, we have no problems with the principle of the general duty on public bodies to prevent terrorism, but this could mean a number of different things, and it is therefore important that the guidance is as full and effective as possible. In Committee, we tabled an amendment to mandate the issuing of guidance. As a consultation on the draft guidance was then issued—I think on the last day before the Christmas recess—we have not tabled that amendment again, but we do still feel that the guidance that has been issued, and which is subject to consultation, should be subject to a very full debate and approval by both Houses of Parliament. That is why we have tabled amendment 7.

I shall raise some issues with the current guidance but first I want to emphasise the potential scope of the guidance. Under the enabling provisions as currently drafted in the Bill, the guidance could be written and rewritten by the Secretary of State at will. The guidance is very important because it could have a bearing on free speech, academic freedoms and patient-doctor relations, but under the Bill as currently drafted, Parliament would have no role in overseeing what is in it.

My other concern is that one set of guidance will apply to numerous bodies, as set out in schedule 3, so will have to apply in very disparate settings. There are also real issues as to how the guidance will cover Scotland and Wales. The consultation document states:

“Where English and Welsh authorities are different, however, the guidance has so far been drafted only to apply to the English authorities. It is the hope and intention of the UK Government that Scottish authorities will be included, and that this guidance will be applicable to authorities in England, Scotland and Wales.”

The guidance is therefore supposed to cover all countries in the UK, but consideration has, at this stage, been given only to England. Will there be fresh consultation looking specifically at Wales and Scotland once agreement has been reached with the respective Administrations about which bodies within those countries it will apply to?

There is similar confusion over two-tier local authorities, which was also a matter I raised in Committee. The guidance that has been issued simply states:

“In two-tier areas, county and district councils will need to agree proportionate arrangements for sharing the assessment of risk and for agreeing local Prevent action plans”,

but nothing more is said about how that is going to work and how the relative burden should be shared between different authorities. I have to say that I do not think that local government will find this guidance helpful in the way it is currently drafted.

In addition to these issues about where the guidance is to be implemented, there are a number of issues with the guidance itself. My key concern with the document is that there is very little help for public bodies in identifying what terrorism actually is. The document talks about tackling both violent and non-violent extremism, but contains very little to help public bodies identify either. I think we can draw important comparisons with child abuse and domestic violence in this regard. Improving best practice in those areas has required better understanding of the indications of abuse. Everyone agrees we should stop child abuse and violent extremism, but in both cases the problem is that public bodies have often failed to spot the key signs. This document does not do enough to remedy that for extremism and terrorism.

The guidance is very strong on procedures, but short on content. There is a real danger that the guidance could result in a series of time-consuming tick-box exercises performed by public bodies at all levels, without any improvement in the identification or understanding of violent extremism, and that is something we should all want to avoid. For example, there are frequent instructions for bodies to conduct risk assessment exercises, but no guidance on how they should conduct such an exercise, or what factors they should prioritise. If we look specifically at health care we see that duties are placed on a whole host of bodies, and then Monitor, the Trust Development Authority and the Care Quality Commission are all expected to monitor compliance. However, it is envisaged that those bodies—which are already over-stretched—should just check that processes have been followed. I therefore question whether this is the most effective way of ensuring that the Prevent agenda is implemented.

I have similar concerns about the higher education sector. The document’s references to that sector envisage that the Higher Education Funding Council for England will be conducting monitoring and evaluation of the processes that the sector will have to undertake. I wonder whether the Minister might be able to help me understand what happens in Wales and Scotland—as far as I am aware, HEFCE covers only England.

When I met Calie Pistorius, the vice-chancellor of Hull university, which is in my constituency, and its student union president, Richard Brooks, I was very impressed when I learned from both of them about the procedures and practices already in place at the university for dealing with external speakers and room bookings, for example, and for making sure that everybody understands their responsibilities and that there is effective communication. The university and its student union have been identified as one of the best examples of working together to ensure that issues of concern to Prevent are dealt with effectively on that campus, and I pay tribute to them for the work they are doing.

All this focus on processes in the consultation document risks detracting from outcomes and wasting time and effort. At a time of huge cuts in the public sector, we should be trying to minimise the burden on public bodies, particularly those facing very low risks.

Much has been made of this guidance applying to nurseries. Mr Davis has raised that, and he makes the important point that that setting will generally face a low risk, as will district councils in the Outer Hebrides, for example, yet these bodies will still have to fulfil the processes under Prevent. The guidance document therefore needs to include some differentiation to enable this to work in practice. I want to ask the Minister about childminders in particular, as they are identified in the consultation document. What exactly is a childminder expected to do to fulfil the Prevent requirements, especially as we know that small children—boys and girls—often like to play and act using toy guns and swords? What does the Minister think childminders should be expected to do in such circumstances, in light of the Prevent consultation?

Throughout the document there is a real failure to deliver a proper analysis of the problem. The introduction makes clear that the focus should be on “Islamist extremists”, and it is clear that a much lower priority is given to white supremacists, for example. I want to ask the Minister a couple of questions about that. Can she tell me how many referrals to the Channel programme have been for people proclaiming white supremacist views? It would be helpful to have the numbers on that. We have seen the rise of the far-right parties across Europe, and in recent days the demonstrations in Germany. Recent cases such as that involving Anders Breivik show that we should never be complacent about the dangers from the far right and white supremacists. Will the Minister address that point in relation to the Prevent consultation document?

Why does the guidance refer to “Islamist extremists” as though that was just one single thing? The guidance states that the aim of Prevent is to tackle Muslim extremists who have an anti-west agenda, yet we know that the current conflicts in the middle east—particularly those in Syria and Iraq, which are fuelling ISIS—are not between Muslims and the west but are intra-Muslim conflicts. Intra-Muslim tensions have also been identified in numerous UK cities and linked to a series of attacks. We believe that the Prevent agenda should address such intra-Muslim conflicts as well. At the moment, those elements seem to be absent from the guidance.

In Committee, my right hon. Friend Hazel Blears talked about counter-narratives. The Muslim community is trying hard to combat sectarianism with a narrative of peace and unity, and we support it in doing that. Public bodies should be supporting community bodies in doing that, but they need guidance on how best to undertake that work. Again, that is completely absent from the consultation document.

That leads me to my second overall criticism of the consultation document: the lack of evidence to support what is in it. If the consultation document had said that a particular piece of research revealed a problem with Prevent delivering in certain areas or identifying certain issues, it would have been much easier to understand the measures in the document, but such evidence is not there. As I said in Committee, the Government do not seem to have done enough to monitor the implementation of their revised Prevent agenda across the country and across different bodies. They are now reacting in a blanket fashion because they have not done the necessary work to identify the weaknesses of the revised programme. It is welcome that the guidance includes some brief details about what the Home Office will do to support public bodies, but this could be expanded on, and it seems almost entirely limited to the Prevent priority areas. What about the rest of the country? These duties will be placed on public bodies throughout the country, not just those in the Prevent priority areas.

I want to ask about the Prevent priority areas, because they are a little muddled. Under the previous Government, there were 92 priority areas. This Government reduced the number to 23, but they then realised that that was not quite right. They reinstated funding to some areas, such as Greenwich, and the number of Prevent priority areas rose to 30. The consultation document says that there will be 50 Prevent priority areas, yet the Bill’s impact assessment refers to about 90 local authorities facing high risk. This is a bit of a mess. Do the Government know how many high-priority areas there are? Will the Minister tell us the actual number? Is it 90 or 50? In the light of the issues that I have raised, it is important that Parliament should have an opportunity to scrutinise the guidance, once it has been finalised. At the moment, all we have is the consultation document, which has large gaps in it.

I turn to amendment 6 and the Channel programme, which will be placed on a statutory footing alongside the rest of Prevent. As with Prevent, it is a policy area of enormous importance, and the Opposition support efforts to strengthen it. Once again, however, the Government are placing obligations on local authorities without making provision to ensure that they will be properly and fully supported by central Government.

Clause 28 provides for the creation of local assessment and support panels in every local authority, but once again the Bill is being implemented before a decision has been made about what will happen in Scotland. The Bill puts on to a statutory footing only a small part of the Channel process, and of course what it is putting into statute should already exist. It is surprising that the Government have not been able to provide evidence of how many councils have already created such boards, given that that information has been asked for.

The first stage of the Channel programme is not covered by the Bill. That is the stage at which an individual is referred to the police because of concerns about radicalisation. Under the current system, numerous local bodies can make a referral including schools, colleges, universities, youth offending services, local authority troubled family teams, charities and voluntary groups. The police then conduct a screening process. Only after that does the statutory footing appear to kick in.

Photo of Bob Stewart Bob Stewart Conservative, Beckenham 3:15 pm, 7th January 2015

Does the hon. Lady agree that this provision should relate not only to public bodies? If an individual believes that someone is likely to become radicalised, it really should be incumbent on that individual to tell someone about it so that something can be done. It is not only bodies such as schools that should have responsibilities in this area; individuals should, too.

Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

The hon. Gentleman makes the important point that we all have a responsibility in this area. My concern, however, is about the specific responsibilities being placed on local authorities and other public bodies under the Channel programme. We must make sure that we get this right, which is why I am focusing on why the first stage of the programme is not being placed on a statutory basis but the second stage is being placed. I wonder whether that is the best way of doing it. I take the hon. Gentleman’s point, however.

Only when a person has been identified as at risk will the provisions in clause 28(3) kick in. That subsection allows a chief officer of police to make a referral to the local support panel that has been set up by the local authority. My first concern is with the level of expertise that those panels must have, and that is where amendment 21 comes in. As provided for in the Bill, local support panels will have to assess the individual’s risk of radicalisation and tailor a support panel to address the risks. The issues involved are complex and varied.

The current guidance cites 22 vulnerability indicators that could lead to a Channel referral. The panel must weigh up those factors and tailor a support package, which could have any number of elements. In some areas, however, the panel will be addressing issues that it has never faced before, such as sectarian hatred, which can be exacerbated by poorly provided support. That is why we feel that the Home Office needs to support local panels by providing an approved list of support providers who are able to give the specialist interventions needed to address the specific issues facing the individual.

This is a crucial stage of the Channel process and it should be recognised in the Bill. My understanding is that the Home Office is already doing this work to some extent, and I welcome the Minister’s commitment on Second Reading to continue to do it, but as we are putting the obligations of local authorities into the Bill, I think we should also be placing the responsibilities of central Government in the legislation. That could be particularly important for local authorities that are making referrals for the first time. I have repeatedly asked for the number of occasions on which each local authority has made a Channel assessment and referral, but unfortunately my requests for that information have been repeatedly refused. However, there must be many parts of the country that have never had to deal with issues such as these before.

This Government have repeatedly claimed to be stepping up efforts to stop Prevent funding going to organisations that are radicalising people, but that cannot be done unless the Home Office takes a lead in vetting those bodies. Under clause 32, the Home Secretary may indemnify Channel providers, so it is accepted that the Home Office has a role in that regard. It therefore seems reasonable for it also to have a role in assessing and vetting providers and ensuring that they are fit for purpose. These are really important issues. I know the Minister shares the commitment to making sure this Bill is as good as it can be and to getting Prevent and Channel right. I therefore hope she will realise that the support the Home Office is providing on Prevent and Channel needs to be reviewed again and improved, and that the guidance that has been issued as a consultation document can be improved in many areas. I hope she will feel able to accept the amendments.

Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Today’s events in Paris are yet another shocking reminder of the threat we all face, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and colleagues of the victims. I echo the comments of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in condemning that barbaric attack, and I am sure the whole House stands united with the French people in our opposition to all forms of terrorism.

Part 5 of the Bill and schedules 3 and 4 deal with an important area of our counter-terrorism work: preventing people from being drawn into terrorism. That was subject to a long and insightful debate in Committee, and I recognise and welcome the deep interest many right hon. and hon. Members have in the area. The shadow Minister made a number of points about the Prevent programme in general, and I wish to address those before dealing with the specifics of the amendments.

The hon. Lady made a point about funding for Prevent, so let me make it clear that this Government are committed to the Prevent programme: £40 million has been allocated for Prevent spending in 2014-15, and the spending has been £36 million in 2011-12, £35 million in 2012-13 and £39 million in 2013-14. She knows as well as anybody that the spending is not just done by the Home Office and that that is spending across government, including by local authorities, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Home Office. It is worth saying that the Prime Minister announced on 25 November that an additional £130 million was being made available for increased counter-terrorism work, which includes Prevent activity. With that funding, we will introduce a clear legal obligation on our universities, prisons, councils and schools to play their part in tackling extremism. The new funding being made available will also include additional resources for programmes to prevent radicalisation.

The hon. Lady asked about the Prevent projects. We have delivered more than 180 community-based Prevent projects since 2011, and we are currently supporting more than 70. Prevent local projects have reached more than 45,000 people since early 2012. All our current Prevent projects are focused on the current threat, including Syria and Iraq. In the 2013-14 financial year, Prevent local co-ordinators in our 30 Prevent priority areas worked with more than 250 mosques, 50 faith groups and 70 community groups. In addition, since the revised Prevent strategy was issued in June 2011, we have trained more than 120,000 front-line public sector workers to identify and support those at risk. We are currently rolling out new updated training, through the Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent—the WRAP training programme—now in its third iteration. We have seen a significant rise in the number of referrals to the Channel programme, which provides tailored support to people identified as being at risk of radicalisation; the Association of Chief Police Officers reported a 58% increase in the past year. Since April 2012, there have been more than 2,000 referrals to Channel, and hundreds of people have been offered support.

Let me now deal with the amendments. Amendment 7 is a repeat of an amendment first tabled in Committee, which was taken to a vote. It concerns the guidance that the Secretary of State may issue to specified authorities that are subject to the new duty to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Under clause 24, the specified authorities subject to the duty must have due regard to such guidance in carrying out that duty. Amendment 7 would require that the guidance may only be issued subject to parliamentary approval. In Committee, hon. Members were clear that an amendment of this type was not required, at least not at that stage. Clause 24 already provides that the Secretary of State must consult before issuing guidance and, as my hon. Friend the Minister for Security and Immigration announced to the House by written ministerial statement on 18 December, that consultation has already begun.

The shadow Minister asked about the draft guidance on which we are consulting. It is draft guidance, and we will be holding regional consultation events to explore further examples of best practice with those who will be subject to the duty. The consultation exercise also includes an opportunity for people to comment via the website, or by e-mail or post. It is aimed at all those who will be subject to the duty, as well as the public at large.

This public consultation provides sufficient opportunity for interested parties, particularly those who will be subject to the Prevent duty, to scrutinise and influence the guidance. The guidance will benefit from extensive consultation and expert input, and I trust that the final guidance that is published will be all the better for having had this period of formal public consultation. The draft guidance, which we are currently consulting on, sets out, over 40 pages, the type of activity we expect specified activities to consider when complying with the duty.

The starting point for all specified authorities will be an assessment of the risk in their area, institution or body. Where a risk has been identified, they will need to develop an action plan to address it. Staff training and working together with other partners will be key themes.

Let me give some examples of what we expect a specified authority to consider when complying with the duty. Local authorities should ensure that publicly owned premises are not used to disseminate extremist views. Higher education institutions should have policies and procedures in place for the management of events on campus and for the use of all university premises that apply to all staff, students and visitors. Further education providers should have policies in place relating to the use of IT on their premises. Schools and their governors should make sure that they have training to give them the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism, and know where and how to refer children and young people for further help.

The health sector should ensure that training is provided to front-line staff to ensure that where there are signs that someone has been or is being drawn into terrorism, the health care worker can interpret those signs correctly and is aware of and can locate support for them. Prisons should offer support to an individual who is vulnerable to radicalisation or move them away from an individual of concern, and those at risk of radicalising others should face the removal of privileges and segregation from others. The police should support individuals vulnerable to radicalisation, for example, through the Channel programme and support partner organisations to deliver Prevent work.

Those are just a few examples, and the shadow Minister asked about childminders. Carers in early years have a duty of care to the children in their care similar to existing safeguarding responsibilities. We are not expecting childminders or nursery workers to carry out unnecessary intrusion into family life, but we expect them to take action where they observe behaviour of concern. It is important that children are taught fundamental British values in an age-appropriate way. For children in early years, that is about learning right from wrong and challenging negative attitudes and stereotypes—for example, if a child makes anti-Semitic remarks.

Photo of Bob Stewart Bob Stewart Conservative, Beckenham

If someone, perhaps a childminder, has a worry about a threat and reports it, are they guaranteed anonymity? Is a system in place to guarantee that people are not found out, including when reports are fallacious?

Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

I thank my hon. and gallant Friend for his comments. I understand that anonymity would be provided to people coming forward in that circumstance.

The shadow Minister asked about areas with low risk. The guidance sets out very clearly that we are looking for a risk-based approach, but areas need to understand the local risk. This is the starting point, and we are clear that the type and scale of the response will vary. She also asked about the number of Prevent priority areas. The Government have changed our method for prioritisation of local authority areas since 2011 and it is now based on assessment of the risk of exposure to radicalisation in specific areas rather than on simple demographics. The prioritisation also takes into account activity that we have seen by terrorist organisations and terrorist sympathisers. The process is regularly reviewed and activity is currently focused on 30 local authority priority areas where the risk of radicalisation is identified as being higher. Those priority areas received funding for a dedicated Prevent co-ordinator and are able to bid for funding for targeted local projects to work with communities and partners. There are also a further 14 supported areas where we support projects only.

Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

I thank the Minister for going through the answers to my questions in such detail. The impact assessment says that 90 local authority areas are at high risk, the consultation document identifies 50 priority areas and the Minister is now talking about 30 areas and an additional 14 areas. These numbers all seem a bit confused to me. Will she say the exact number of Prevent priority areas the Government are concerned about?

Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 3:30 pm, 7th January 2015

If the hon. Lady will give me a few moments, I will come on to that point.

We do not believe that it is crucial for the guidance to be subject to additional parliamentary approval because we are conducting a wide-ranging consultation and, although the specified authorities must have regard to the guidance, they are not required to follow it in all cases. That is not an uncommon approach for statutory guidance of this nature and we set that out in detail in the delegated powers memorandum published with the Bill. However, I recognise the need for these issues to be properly considered, and that is why my hon. Friend the Minister for Security and Immigration made clear in Committee our intention to await the conclusions of the Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform before giving further consideration to whether we should make any changes of this sort. I hope that the hon. Lady will agree that that is a sensible approach and will be content to await the report of that Committee. On that basis, I invite her to withdraw the amendment, so that we can return to the issue in the other place.

Let me now turn to amendment 6, which would amend clause 29 to require the Secretary of State to issue guidance to support panels in carrying out their functions. The amendment would also require that the panel had sight of the list of approved providers for deradicalisation programmes and that the providers were subject to monitoring. As my hon. Friend the Minister for Immigration and Security explained in Committee, Channel is a multi-agency programme that provides support to people identified as vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It has been in operation in all areas of England and Wales since 2012. In Scotland, the relevant programme is known as Prevent Professional Concerns. It is the Government’s hope and intention that these provisions should also apply to Scotland and discussions with the Scottish Government are ongoing.

As the hon. Lady asked about the devolved Administrations, I want to confirm that we are speaking to the Scottish and Welsh Governments about how the duty should be implemented in those Administrations and consulting on how we should make the guidance appropriate to bodies in Scotland and Wales, particularly because the different legal system in Scotland might mean that we need to implement things differently there. As part of the process, we are consulting them on how the duty should be monitored and enforced.

Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

It is very helpful to hear the Minister set that out, but once agreement has been reached with the devolved Administrations, will there be a further period of consultation on the guidance, so that local authorities and other bodies can comment on what has been agreed between the Governments?

Photo of Karen Bradley Karen Bradley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

I am not sure that that is how we envisage it happening, but we are consulting and working very closely with the devolved Administrations to ensure that we take into account their views and get this right for them.

The hon. Lady asked about the number of priority areas under Prevent, so let me clarify. There are currently 30 Prevent priority areas, and we anticipate that that will rise to up to 50 in the next financial year. The impact assessment allows for up to 90 priority areas, should the need arise.

The hon. Lady asked about referrals to Channel relating to the far right and whether the Channel programme targeted only Muslim radicalisation. Like Prevent as a whole, Channel covers all forms of terrorism and extremism related to terrorism. It does not target Muslims and anyone can refer a person of any age, ethnicity or faith background to Channel. A significant number of people who have started receiving support through Channel were referred for far-right concerns. ACPO has reported that around a quarter of Channel referrals relate to the far right.

The hon. Lady has expressed concern about the expertise that panels must have and has retabled the amendment that we considered in Committee. Clause 28 includes provision for the Secretary of State to issue guidance to support panels in carrying out their functions. I can assure the hon. Lady that existing guidance is being updated in consultation with relevant persons, including those who deliver on the ground such as panel chairs. My right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary, will issue this guidance before the provisions are commenced.

Local panels assess the individual’s risk and, if appropriate, develop a support package. It is the job of the panel members to provide advice in respect of their areas of expertise, and to arrange, where agreed, support interventions from their services. Interventions that are delivered by such statutory partners are subject to existing monitoring arrangements.

In respect of theological or ideological support, the police representative will recommend to the panel the provider most suited to the case. The list of approved providers for such support is already made available to key members of the panel.

Safeguards and measures are in place to monitor the support providers—I hope that that reassures the hon. Lady—and they are all bound by a service level agreement with the Home Office that sets out the terms and conditions of their appointment, including conduct. In addition, the police, as part of their co-ordination role, regularly review progress made against any interventions commissioned. Any misconduct or quality concerns will be treated seriously by the Home Office, with the option of terminating an agreement with a provider.

On this basis, I hope that the hon. Lady is reassured that amendment 6 is unnecessary. I invite her to withdraw amendment 7, so that we can return to the parliamentary scrutiny of the Prevent guidance in the other place.

Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

I am grateful to the Minister for going through my questions in such detail. On amendment 7, I am surprised that the Government are not willing to agree that both Houses should have the opportunity to scrutinise the final version of the guidance, which we have not yet seen. I note what she said about keeping the matter under consideration. I am sure that the matter will be returned to when the Bill goes to the other place. On that basis, I will not seek to divide the House on amendment 7. I therefore beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn