Muslim Council of Britain

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered at on 29 February 2024.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Chair, Work and Pensions Committee, Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the basis for his policy of non-engagement with the Muslim Council of Britain is.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Chair, Work and Pensions Committee, Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with which organisations, other than the Muslim Council of Britain, the Government has a policy of non-engagement.

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Minister of State (Minister for Housing)

The Government, under successive administrations, has a long-standing policy of non-engagement with the Muslim Council of Britain. Previous MCB leaders have taken positions that contradict our fundamental values and these have not been explicitly retracted.

The Government is committed to engaging with a broad range of leaders and organisations across many different communities and civil society groups. Engagement with communities can strengthen our democracy, our policymaking and our society.

However, as highlighted in the Independent Review of Prevent, where best practice is not followed engagement can create risks. It may inadvertently provide a platform or legitimacy for groups or individuals who oppose our shared democratic values and institutions, and allow them to gain greater influence, including in the eyes of those communities to whom they aim to promote their narratives.

In its response to the Independent Review of Prevent, the Government committed to ensuring it neither funds, works or consults with extremism-linked groups or individuals. DLUHC is working closely with the Home Office and key cross-government partners, including the Commission for Countering Extremism, to implement this recommendation.

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