Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 3:37 pm ar 22 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Thomas Tugendhat Thomas Tugendhat Minister of State (Home Office) (Security) 3:37, 22 Mai 2024

I appreciate what he said, but for somebody who decided to throw himself out of aeroplanes in the south of England rather than join our great and glorious core training in Arbroath—that is just a very strange thing to have done, for who claims to have that unbelievable love for the north! It is a huge privilege to tease the hon. Gentleman—we have been friends for far too long for me to miss the opportunity.

It is always a pleasure to be in Scotland and to see the extraordinary achievements made by the Scottish people, not just in this area but in many others. This is one of those areas where I just want to pick up on something. The hon. Gentleman spoke about the way in which Scotland is dealing with these cases. I want to pay enormous tribute to those who are gathered together in Gartcosh: over 20 different agencies, including everybody from Police Scotland, MI5 to His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, and various environmental agencies. It is absolutely extraordinary to see what they have brought together. It is a real power centre not just for keeping Scotland safe, but for fighting crime and disorder all across the United Kingdom. It is a fantastic resource and really impressive.

If we are giving this paean to Scotland, I should also say that the head of MI5, whose Scottish tones have informed me of some of the worst abuses of humanity in this country, demonstrates the level of commitment that many have. I place on record my extreme gratitude to all MI5 officers, counter-terrorism police and the National Crime Agency, who do a huge amount to keep us safe, alongside the territorial forces, whose work is absolutely essential.

None of that would work unless there was the underpinning, and the underpinning is making sure that society does not breed more extremists. The way we avoid that is by making sure that people are part of our community. The Prevent programme is absolutely essential to making sure that when somebody strays, they are assisted to come back into the fold. This is the work, as was said, of the good shepherd. That is what is so important today: making sure that we keep people in our society and within the fold, able to contribute and able to feel part of a wider whole. That is absolutely essential.