Topical Questions

Part of Home Department – in the House of Commons on 7th June 2021.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

Since the House last met for Home Office questions, the anniversaries of several terror attacks have passed. I know that the House will want to join me in marking them and remembering those who have lost their lives in these terrible atrocities.

On 29 April 2013, Mohammed Saleem was stabbed to death as he returned from worshipping at his mosque. On 22 May 2013, Fusilier Lee Rigby was murdered near the Royal Artillery barracks in Woolwich. Exactly four years later, a bomb at the Manchester Arena killed 22 concertgoers and wounded hundreds more. On 3 June 2017, eight people were murdered and many more were wounded around London bridge and Borough market. Another anniversary is imminent: that of our much-loved and widely admired colleague Jo Cox, who was murdered on 16 June 2016. Last month saw the verdict of the inquest into the terror attacks at Fishmongers’ Hall in November 2019, which claimed the lives of Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones.

The Government and our operational partners have taken action to strengthen the supervision of terror offenders on licence and end the automatic release of terrorist prisoners. We have improved information sharing and established world-leading counter-terrorism operation centres.

We all recognise how truly evil all those acts were, because they were directed at innocent people going about their daily lives, who were worshipping, listening to music or seeing their friends, as well as—at their best—doing public service for others. Yet the outpouring of grief and love that followed, the heroism of the first responders and the resolute way in which the British people refused to be cowed have shown the best of our country. Terrorists can hurt us, but they will never win. We will always honour those who were killed and the people who love them, and the Government will continue to give every support to the police and security services, who have worked tirelessly to keep us safe.