The controversial anti-radicalisation Prevent strategy is to be independently reviewed, the government has announced.
The programme, which aims to stop vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism and extremism, has faced longstanding concerns over its effectiveness and whether it discriminates against Muslims.
Prevent includes a statutory duty for councils, schools, NHS trusts and prisons to report concerns about people who may be at risk of turning to extremism.
The review was triggered when the government decided to accept an amendment to the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill that had been passed by the House of Lords.
Security Minister, Ben Wallace, challenged critics of the scheme to replace “distortions and spin” with evidence in relation to the scheme’s effectiveness :
“Communities across the country have got behind the policy and are contributing to it because they want, as we do, their own young people to be protected from grooming and exploitation by terrorists,” he said. “This review should expect those critics of Prevent, who often use distortions and spin, to produce solid evidence of their allegations.”