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 Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice and Home Affairs), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 1:33 pm, 5th November 2020

I thank the Minister for advance sight of his statement. This is a prudent move, and the United Kingdom Government have the full support of the Scottish National party and the Scottish Government in the fight to keep all our communities safe from terrorism. I take this opportunity to express condolences on behalf of my party to those bereaved or injured in the recent terrorist atrocities in Vienna and across France and to express our solidarity with the people of Austria and France. I pay tribute to those who risk their lives to keep us safe. The funeral of Sergeant Matt Ratana yesterday was a sad reminder of the high price they pay for our safety. I salute his courage and his service and extend the sincerest condolences of my party to his family and friends.

Will the Minister tell us what work is being carried out with local communities and faith groups to ensure a co-ordinated response as the threat level is increased? What support and assistance are being offered to minority groups in need of additional reassurance? He will be aware that in Scotland, the delivery of the Prevent strategy is devolved and has worked well to foster strong relations between communities and the police. Will he consider looking at the success of Scotland’s approach and seeing what lessons can be learned for the rest of the United Kingdom?

Finally, it is the remit of the Home Office to ensure that all our communities are kept safe and secure. In mid-September, counter-terrorism police warned the Home Secretary that it was suspected that a far-right extremist had attempted to carry out a terrorist attack at a solicitors firm in London, yet in early October she and the Prime Minister went on to intensify their anti-lawyer rhetoric. Will the Minister acknowledge that there is a responsibility on politicians and other public figures to avoid saying anything that could inflame tensions or put people at risk?