Suella Braverman orders overhaul of anti-terror programme Prevent after it shows ‘cultural timidity’

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Suella Braverman, Secretary of State for the Home Department attends day three of the Conservative Party Conference on October 04, 2022 in Birmingham, England. This year the Conservative Party Conference will be looking at "Getting Britain Moving" with more jobs and higher salaries. However, delegates are arriving at the conference as the party lags 33 points behind Labour in the opinion polls. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

THE anti-terror programme Prevent will be overhauled — after the Home Secretary accused it of “cultural timidity” in the face of Islamist extremism.

Suella Braverman yesterday said it must focus on public safety rather than “political correctness”.

Suella Braverman will overhaul anti-terror programme Prevent after saying it has shown ‘cultural timidity’

She told MPs about her plans as she accepted the 34 recommendations from a 188-page report by Sir William Shawcross which said the government scheme was “out of kilter” with Britain’s counter-terrorism system.

Ms Braverman told MPs: “Prevent needs major reform.

“Prevent needs to better understand the threats we face and the ideology underpinning them.

“Eighty per cent of counter-terrorism police live investigations are Islamist.

“MI5 are clear Islamist terrorism remains our predominant threat, accounting for 75 per cent of their caseload.

“Yet only 16 per cent of Prevent referrals in 2021/22 were Islamist.

“Prevent has shown cultural timidity and an institutional hesitancy to tackle Islamism for fear of the charge of Islamophobia.”

The long-awaited Shawcross review was ordered by ex-Home Secretary Priti Patel in 2019 and calls for a better understanding of the threats the country faces.

Several terror attacks have been carried out by extremists referred to the Prevent scheme, including Ali Harbi Ali, who murdered Tory MP Sir David Amess in 2021.

Writing in HOAR today, Ms Braverman says she will also crack down on any taxpayers’ money being awarded to groups linked to radicalisation.