UK Terrorism Threat Level

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:33 pm on 5th November 2020.

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Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Minister of State, Home Department 1:33 pm, 5th November 2020

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his support and that of the Opposition. As he highlighted, the Home Secretary spoke to the Leader of the Opposition. Indeed, I also spoke to leaders in the devolved Administrations to ensure that there was good communication and co-ordination across the whole United Kingdom, recognising that this threat level speaks to all the UK.

The hon. Gentleman asks about the role of JTAC. I can say to him that JTAC keeps the threat level under constant review, so it is a question always of assessing not only the intelligence and information that is available, but the context, which is why, as I indicated, the international perspective is also so important when analysing this.

The hon. Gentleman talks about the public communication. I underline that the counter-terrorism policing network effectively sent a communication around the entirety of the network so that policing in all parts of the UK had consistent messaging. There are established processes and procedures that apply to ensure that we step up visibility in public places, thinking about how to provide support to places that may have areas of vulnerability, crowded places and all those sorts of themes. Therefore, this is part and parcel of the standard approach that is reflected in the resources we provide to our intelligence and counter-terrorism policing.

The hon. Gentleman asked about the Prevent strategy. We are in the final stages of the recruitment of the independent reviewer, and there is a real opportunity to examine those elements of our work and see what further steps we need to take. As I have indicated to the House already this afternoon, we will continue to challenge ourselves on what additional measures may be appropriate.

In terms of Northern Ireland, we judge that a separate assessment is appropriate. It is a separate process that operates, and the Security Service is involved in that step, looking at the threat, sadly, from dissident republican terrorism in Northern Ireland. That threat very much endures. We remain vigilant and robust in meeting the challenges there, in co-ordination with the Police Service of Northern Ireland, as well as other agencies.

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his comments. We stand united against those who would seek to divide us. National security and the safety of our citizens remain the utmost priority for this Government.