The decision by the government not to publish the full findings of the Home Office’s internal review into the nature, scale and origin of the funding of Islamist extremist activity in the UK, including any overseas sources has been slammed by opposition parties.
In a written statement Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for the Home Office, said: “Having taken advice, I have decided against publishing the classified report produced during the review in full. This is because of the volume of personal information it contains and for national security reasons. We will be inviting privy councillors from the opposition parties to the Home Office to have access to classified report on privy council terms”.
The statement went on to summarise its main findings and can be found here.
Diane Abbott MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, responding to the Government’s decision to not publish the extremism funding report in full, said:
“The public has a right to know if any governments, foreign or domestic organisations or individuals are funding extremism in this country, and what the UK government intends to do to prevent that.
"Of course, security intelligence should not be compromised but this is easily achieved by redaction and other means. The Government would never have commissioned this report if it considered this problem insurmountable.
"Instead, there is a strong suspicion this report is being suppressed to protect this Government's trade and diplomatic priorities, including in relation to Saudi Arabia. The only way to allay those suspicions is to publish the report in full.”
Caroline Lucas, joint Green Party leader, said:
"The Government's refusal to publish this report, and this utterly vague statement, are completely unacceptable. The statement gives absolutely no clue as to which countries foreign funding for extremism originates from – leaving the Government open to further allegations of refusing to expose the role of Saudi Arabian money in terrorism in the UK.
"The Government accept that foreign funding is a significant source of income for some extremist groups here in Britain – but they won't say in public where that money is coming from. It's not good enough to simply let Privy councillors see this report – because such a rule excludes party leaders like myself who are trying to hold this Government to account on this issue and shine a spotlight on the deep complicity between Whitehall and Riyadh."
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said:
“The bottom line is that this report still remains unpublished. The government hoped to sneak out what it thinks are the top lines of a report no-one has seen, on a busy day hoping no-one would notice. This decision is utterly shameful.
“I believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant and the government should release this report today and stop it gathering dust in a draw in Number 10.
“We cannot tackle the root causes of terrorism in the UK without full disclosure of the states and institutions that fund extremism in our country.
“Instead of supporting the perpetrators of these vile ideologies, the government should be naming and shaming them – including so-called allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar if need be.
“It seems like the government, yet again, is putting our so called friendship with Saudi Arabia above our values. This shoddy decision is the latest in a long line where we have put profit over principle.”