The government has failed to produce an adequate strategy to tackle non-violent extremism because the minister in charge of it is said to disagree with the Prime Minister’s approach, sources have told Coffee House.
Baroness Warsi is alleged by multiple sources in and out of government to have consistently resisted calls to develop a proper strategy on integration and tackling extremism at its roots, even though this is the Prime Minister’s policy and part of her job at the Communities and Local Government department. One source says: ‘Sayeeda made clear when she got the job at CLG that she didn’t agree with the Prime Minister and that she simply wasn’t going to do this bit of her job.’ The minister has clashed with the Prime Minister over his efforts to tackle extremism, most notably during the drafting of a report from the Extremism Taskforce, when, as Coffee House has previously reported, the pair had an argument while Warsi was on a plane.
The Extremism Taskforce was set up, The Spectator understands, to overcome the difficulty in coming up with any policy to counter non-violent extremism while Warsi held the brief, but the minister objected to the panel consulting experts who she disagreed with, including the Quilliam Foundation, and some of the conclusions of the taskforce, which the Prime Minister set out last winter. Downing Street denies that this was one of the reasons the Taskforce was set up, arguing that it was solely in response to the murder of Lee Rigby. An integration strategy was published in 2012, but sources tell Coffee House that it is widely considered inadequate.
Warsi is alleged to disagree with the Prime Minister’s approach that he laid out in his 2011 Munich speech on extremism, and is alleged to face no pressure from senior ministers in the Communities and Local Government department on this matter.