Prevent Programme

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 22nd January 2020.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis The Minister of State, Home Department 12:31 pm, 22nd January 2020

I understand the point the hon. Gentleman is making, and I think he is right to differentiate between two different issues. The heart of what the Prevent programme is about backs up his point, because the Prevent programme is fundamentally about safeguarding and supporting vulnerable individuals to stop them becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. It is not about what religion they have and how they practise their religious beliefs; as I say, it is about stopping people becoming terrorists. It is working and it is successful, as I have said, and it does make a significant impact in stopping people being drawn into terrorism in the first place.

Through the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 —bear with me for a second if you will, Mr Speaker, because the context is important here—we introduced the Prevent statutory duty. That duty requires local authorities, schools, colleges, universities, health bodies, prisons, probation and the police, as part of their day-to-day work, to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. It does have a very clear and specific purpose, which is about keeping our country, and vulnerable people, safe.