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Diane Abbott calls for ‘major review’ and ‘fundamental rethink’ of Prevent strategy

diane_68Yesterday evening Labour Home Secretary Diane Abbott called for a ‘major review’ and ‘fundamental rethink’ of the governments Prevent strategy. Abbott spoke at a meeting of the Students Not Suspects campaign, a joint initiative by the National Union of Students alongside activists from the NUT and UCU. She becomes the latest senior Labour figure to call on the policy to be reviewed, after her predecessor Andy Burnham and former Home Affairs Select Committee Chair Keith Vaz.

Abbott spoke about a 12 year old boy whose parents had approached her, who had been referred under Prevent, and noted that most cases referred under Prevent are not acted upon. She told the meeting:
 I’m calling for a major review of the strategy and a fundamental rethink from the government.
NUS has pioneered a position of noncompliance with Prevent, a position which has now been adopted by the UCU, NUT and TUC.
The meeting was also addressed by NUS President and Vice-President, Malia Bouattia and Shelly Asquith, Oxford Professor Karma Nabulsi, and French human rights activist Yasser L0uati.
Louati spoke about racism in France, and the hypocrisy that labels of ‘extremism’ were not applied to far right organisations but only applied to muslims.
Prevent has been widely criticised since Theresa May, as Home Secretary, made compliance with the programme a statutory duty in her 2015 Counter-Terrorism and Security Act. As well as objections from Labour, the Liberal Democrats have adopted a formal position of opposition, and the House of Commons Joint Committee of Human Rights.
4,000 referrals of alleged radicalisation were made under Prevent in 2015 – more than twice as many as the previous year. Of them, more than half involved under-18s, and the youngest referral was a 4 year old.


  1. Imran Khan says:

    As the prevent programme is now dealing with young white men exposed to far right ideology is Ms Abbott still calling for whatever it is she is calling for?

  2. John P Reid says:

    She’s shadow Home Secretary

  3. Bazza says:

    DA is right. Prevent was always top down and seems to focus on one group (Muslims) as though they are homogenous.
    Years ago if there were earthquakes or so they would turn the public away from helping but now they have learnt every extra hand is a help.
    We need bottom up partnerships with co equal diverse citizens to develop programmes that try to protect us all.

  4. Imran Khan says:

    John P Reid. Yes we know that.
    Bazza. What exactly does your last sentence mean?

    Ms Abbott is racially obsessed and sees racism and or Islamophobia everywhere. The sad fact of the matter is that while the vast majority of Muslims aren’t extremists most of what could be defined as terrorism in the world today has Islam as its driving force.

    The Prevent programme has now been expanded to deal with young white men at risk of being drawn into ultra right groups and activities and this is good but no mention is made in this article or by Ms Abbott elsewhere that this is the case. She is entirely selective in her condemnation of Respect as she is of most things.

    1. John P Reid says:

      Terry I was correcting the headline, which says she’s Home Secretary

      1. Imran Khan says:

        I take it this was addressed to me. Sorry about that, should take more time to read things properly I suppose!

        1. John P Reid says:

          No problem,Mr Fitz

          1. Imran Khan says:

            Still no wiser I’m afraid John P Reid. I did catch Ms Abbott with Andrew Neill today and it was embarrassing. She is obviously a liar. It will be interesting to see if she gets the one constituency that will be in Hackney as she has said she will let Corbyn have the new Islington one.

  5. David Pavett says:

    A call for a ‘fundamental rethink’ requires that one is able to define what is fundamental to the issue and also that one has engaged in some rethinking. I wish that there were some sign of either of these in what Diane Abbott has to say on this issue. There is certainly no hint of either in this article.

    1. Imran Khan says:

      Well put. Summed so well. She goes from worse to worse and the struggle for who gets the remaining seat in Hackney has already begun I understand with Ms Abbott calling anyone who votes against her racist.

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