Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 6:50 pm ar 24 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health) 6:50, 24 Ebrill 2024

On behalf of the Democratic Unionist party, I add my support to the Minister for his proscription of Terrorgram. He clearly outlined the issues that are pertinent to the announcement. I express concern over the radicalism that seems to persist throughout society. It seems to happen in ways that I, perhaps from a non-technical point of view, cannot really understand, but I understand that the name of the organisation—Terrorgram—tells us all about this group. Its very intention is evil and wicked. Its intention is to kill and to maim. The Minister’s announcement today encourages us, as he often does when it comes to these matters.

The Minister’s announcement that the UK is the first country in the world to proscribe the Terrorgram collective is positive, and proactive by him and the Government. This group spreads vile propaganda, with evil—indeed, murderous—intent, and there is absolutely no place for it in modern society. The Minister rightly reminded the House, and myself in particular, that the group is anti-Israel and anti-Jewish. Terrorgram’s hatred of Israel and the Jewish people is to be condemned unreservedly. I commend the Minister on the Government’s response and their support of Israel within the law, which they have given the whole way through. On this issue, the response is critical. I was a friend of Israel when I was in the Northern Ireland Assembly some 14 years ago—I was there for 12 years—and I have been a friend of Israel here. I am therefore encouraged by the Minister’s comments in relation to the support that he has given the Israeli people and the Jewish people in the face of downright hatred. The Terrorgram collective must be proscribed, and it must be made criminally impossible for them to operate in any fashion, so today’s announcement is good news.

Does the Minister agree that social media plays a massive role in the distribution of horrific comments and opinions? While it may not entirely be the issue today, does he agree that much more needs to be done legislatively for platforms such as Telegram, and indeed others that are used by people to spew hatred, whether that be TikTok, Twitter or any other? I unashamedly say that I do not have the ability to do technical things, but I am pleased that others do. Technical change can happen at breakneck speed. Does the Minister intend to ensure that when anything comes on the radar of our Government, Parliament will respond immediately to proscribe it? Perhaps he can give us some idea of the timescale when something comes to the attention of the House, the security forces or others. Will he respond in an urgent manner?

Again, I thank the Minister and our Government for the proactive way that they respond. It encourages me as a citizen, and on behalf of the people of Strangford, the people of Northern Ireland, and indeed all the people of this great nation that we love.