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Delegitimising CT is enabling terrorism, says Cameron

Former Prime Minister David Cameron has warned the government to defend its flagship counter extremism strategy from criticisms or risk enabling terrorism.

In a controversial report from Policy Exchange, Cameron demanded a robust defence of the Prevent strategy amid increasing belief that the programme is being undermined by ‘Islamist campaigners and their allies’.

The Prevent strategy includes a statutory duty for schools, NHS trusts, prisons and local authorities to report any concerns they have about people who may be at risk of turning to extremism. It has led to cases in which teachers have reported primary schoolchildren to the police for having toy guns or talking about video games.

An ongoing independent review of Prevent by William Shawcross has been delayed, but is expected to report its findings later this year. Following the murder of the Conservative MP Sir David Amess, Home Secretary Priti Patel has hinted an overhaul of the strategy is needed.

Cameron, who writes the foreword to the report, said that ‘we need to counter the anti-Prevent narrative’ and show that ‘delegitimising counter terrorism is, in essence, enabling terrorism’.

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