Examination of Witnesses

Part of Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 25th June 2020.

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Photo of Conor McGinn Conor McGinn Shadow Minister (Home Office) 2:30 pm, 25th June 2020

Q That is very useful. Your point about the entitlement of every citizen of the UK, regardless of what part of the UK they are in, to have protection from terrorism is important. Do you think, though—it might be useful to add a bit of historical context to this—that there are specificities around the threat from terrorism in Northern Ireland and the approach to dealing with it, both in terms of how post-sentencing regimes work in prisons for paramilitary prisoners or those imprisoned for reasons related to terrorist offending, and in terms of an approach to deradicalisation?

Already in Northern Ireland there is common parlance in use around internment for what might be seen as measures in place for existing terrorist and paramilitary prisoners. Is there a concern on your part, first, that what is proposed might interfere with the settlement in the Good Friday agreement, particularly around licensing, and, secondly, that rather perversely it may be used by those engaged in terrorism as a further opportunity, as you say, to groom young people and present themselves as the wronged party?