Exclusive: May, Rudd ‘stripped anti-extremism unit to focus on #Brexit’ #GE17

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As the Press Association reported, Theresa May – in the preface to the announcement of her planned assault on the very human rights she says islamist terrorists hate – talked of a ‘security service review’, supposedly to allow security services to “call out extremism here in the United Kingdom”:

Theresa May expects security service review

Theresa May has said she expects police and security services to launch a review after three terrorists slipped through the net to launch the devastating attack at London Bridge.

Mrs May said,

What Government needs to do is, and what the Government that comes in after Thursday’s election needs to be willing to do, is to give more powers to the police and security service when they need them, needs to deal with this issue of terrorism and extremism online and also needs to be able to call out extremism here in the United Kingdom.

Her hypocrisy in attacking human rights just after describing how much terrorist hate our human rights has already been remarked on.

But her hypocrisy in the whole matter may be far larger than that.

The Home Office has a department named the Extremism Analysis Unit responsible, as its name suggests, for identifying and analysing potential extremist groups and individuals in order to identify the most serious threats to the safety of UK citizens.

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And a civil servant close to the unit alleges that Theresa May, along with her successor Amber Rudd, intentionally moved resources away from it in order to increase resources available to Brexit teams.

The source, who did not wish to be identified, was:

closely involved with advising the Home Office’s Extremism Analysis Unit from when it was set up until the Referendum campaign took off in Spring 2016.

From that time onward we heard nothing at all from them and the civil servants involved were all moved on to other activities – several were seconded to the Home Office from other government departments such as the Foreign Office and DCLG.

In a nutshell, ‘calling out extremism’ and the means to be able to do so, was shelved by Theresa May while she was still Home Secretary, and by Amber Rudd subsequently, in favour of trying to handle Brexit.

The SKWAWKBOX spoke with the Home Office about these damning allegations, which seemed to cause some consternation. A Home Office spokeswoman stated:

The Extremism Analysis Unit still exists. The conduct of the referendum campaign was the responsibility of political parties and campaign groups and not of the Home Office.

She was, however, unable to confirm or deny that the unit’s resources and manpower had decreased in spring last year as the civil service source alleged.

If the allegations are true, then it means that the same Prime Minister who as Home Secretary drastically cut police numbers and called warnings of the consequences ‘scaremongering’ also gutted a department specifically responsible for identifying exactly the kind of radicalisation that seems to have driven the attackers at Westminster Bridge and Parliament, in Manchester and, most recently, on London Bridge and at Borough Market last weekend.

If so, she becomes even more responsible for this country’s vulnerability to terrorist attack – and even more closely bound to the failings that meant radicalised young men known to the authorities were able to take such a terrible toll.

As there is no realistic possibility of obtaining a definitive answer before voters go to the polls tomorrow, the electorate is entitled to look at the proven behaviour of Theresa May and her party in making massive cuts to police numbers and insulting those who gave her warnings and then to judge for themselves whether the civil servants allegations are credible.

And then to vote accordingly.

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