Saturday 21 September 2019 / 4:23 PM Dawn Butler / Women and Equalities

Labour announces independent review into the rise of the far-right

Speaking at Labour Party Conference today, Dawn Butler MP, Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary, announced that in government Labour will commission an independent review into the threat of far-right extremism and how to tackle it.

The Home Office is dealing with an increasing number of cases of suspected right-wing extremists from 968 in 2016-17 to 1,312 in 2017-18, and on Thursday, Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer, the Met assistant commissioner, Neil Basu, said, the fastest-growing UK terrorist threat is from far right. A quarter of all terrorism arrests in the past year were linked to far-right violence.

A United Nations report into eliminating racism, discriminatory policies, xenophobia and intolerance in Britain highlighted that sustained and pervasive discourses vilifying Islam and Muslims exist in the British media and among politicians. The report recommended the government take concrete steps to improve accountability for all acts of racial discrimination and xenophobia, ensuring that allegations of such acts are thoroughly investigated, prosecuted and punished.

Labour’s review would look at:

  •       How far-right language has affected our public and media discourse, including on social media;
  •       How the far-right has been promoted and evolved, and their funding streams;
  •       How the far-right is now organising internationally to spread its message.

The review will make recommendations to government and relevant agencies on how to tackle the spread of far-right extremism.

Dawn Butler MP, Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary, said:

“Labour want what’s best for our country, but not everyone has that intention. We now have a Prime Minister who the far-right regard as their leader, who garners the support of the like of Tommy Robinson.

“We will look to tackle the rise of the far right, launching this independent review into the spread of hard right extremism. The next Labour government will unite our country with positive policies and protect those communities at risk from those who seek to divide us.”