UK – Call for counter-terror minister

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2006-04-14 09:48:02… Call for counter-terror minister Mr Denham is particularly concerned about the Muslim TaskforceThe UK needs a counter-terrorism minister, the Commons home affairs select committee chairman has said. John Denham, who used to be a home office minister, is calling for a single minister to bring together all the policing and intelligence issues. He also wants them to be involved in discussion and practical work to fight extremist ideas at a community level. Government initiatives lose political momentum when ministers are diverted to other matters, Mr Denham has said. “Actually nobody in government is day-to-day in charge of bringing together all the elements of counter terrorism, particularly fighting extremist violent ideas at community level,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “And I think if you had a single minister who brought all of those elements together at a senior point in government you perhaps avoid this problem of things being started and not seen through.” He is particularly concerned momentum on the Muslim Taskforce may have been lost – which he believes is crucial in the fight against extremist ideas – because there is not a minister whose sole remit is counter terrorism. Set up to advise the government about the causes of extremism, in the wake of the London Tube bombings last July, the taskforce proposed several initiatives, including a Mosques and Imams National Advisory Body (MINAB). But taskforce members are now critical of the way the MINAB is being set up, and one of them, the British Muslim Forum, has started its own process of consultation with its members and affiliated mosques.

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