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

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right that ISIS-K—naming that area of Afghanistan after the older Arabic name, Khorasan, for that region—is a pernicious threat and it has been spreading in Afghanistan. Sadly, we have seen it act, including most recently in Moscow. It is a deeply pernicious force and one that we are acutely aware of. The agencies I cited earlier are extremely cautious to keep a very close eye on it. The tragedy is that these organisations have the ability to form and organise under the Taliban, that hateful organisation which has taken over the territory of Afghanistan and is not only bringing violence, pain and suffering to millions of Afghans, but ensuring that women and girls do not enjoy the liberties that they should—that they are denied education, prevented from work, and prevented from seeing the progress and opportunity that we would all hope for others around the world.

Scotland now has a Prevent adviser, which brings it into line with England and Wales. The adviser’s work is extremely important to ensuring that we are all working together. As I have said, while it is certainly true that extremism has a local characteristic, it is not the same extremism that we see in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, or any other place where we might be campaigning in the second half of the year—to answer the point made by the hon. Member for Barnsley Central. The efforts we are making in all parts of the United Kingdom are essential, because keeping the United Kingdom safe, together and whole is this Government's priority, and one that we will never stop working on. I say that as a passionate Unionist/ I am sure that Alison Thewliss will understand that we may disagree on that, even though we work together in this regard.

I am grateful for the contributions made today, and I am grateful for the support of Members in all parts of the House for this statutory instrument. Let me just reassert that the core objective is to strengthen the Prevent system, which is a vital component of our counter-terrorism operations.

Question put and agreed to.