Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill - Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 17th December 2018.

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Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Labour 5:45 pm, 17th December 2018

My Lords, it is interesting that eight years ago today, Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself in Tunisia kicking off the Arab spring, which brought devastation to the whole of the Middle East and dramatically increased the number of terrorists. It is appropriate that we are discussing a counterterrorism Bill, because this is such an important issue.

I have some sympathy for my noble friend Lord Harris’s safeguarding comments. There is no doubt that the alliteration was very useful. I the four Ps a useful reminder when talking to the media at the time, and there is no doubt that there is a strong element of safeguarding within the Prevent strategy. But as I have said, Prevent is a curate’s egg. Some bits have done very well and some bits have not. It has not hit the right places. There is no doubt that there has been traducing of it by some people, which is unfortunate, but of the four strands, the reality is that Prevent is probably the most important in the final analysis. I had the other three firmly under my control when I was in the Home Office, but not Prevent. It was separate, which is unfortunate because it is such an important strand. The way that I believe we will finally defeat terrorism is by getting this right.

Therefore, it is important that we review what is going on. I strongly support the amendment. It is absolutely appropriate that we have a review and I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Carlile; I am not quite sure how the review should be undertaken and by whom, but the Government should consider it. I am certain, however, that we should have a thorough review to look at this before we move forward.