How 'political' was Theresa May's London terror crackdown speech? Key passages and the Conservative manifesto … – Mirror.co.uk

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Theresa May has given a damning speech on the steps of Downing Street saying Britain must do more to fight terror.

Her four-plan and call that “enough is enough” was a direct reaction to last night’s massacre on London Bridge that left seven people dead.

But Labour’s Emily Thornberry has since complained it was trying to “draw us into a debate” while political campaigning was officially suspended.

She told the BBC: “I don’t think that anything she is proposing is anything that needs to be or will be dealt with tomorrow.

“To come out onto the steps of 10 Downing Street, immediately in the aftermath of a terrible outrage like this, was not something that would be expected. I just simply regret the approach that she has taken.”

Jeremy Corbyn‘s former spin doctor Matt Zarb-Cousin went further, accusing her of “politicising a terrorist attack because she’s worried about losing the election”.

Mrs May’s full speech, which you can read here, was not simply a political plan – it paid tribute to the emergency services, called for Britain to unite, revealed critical injuries and gave an official account of the attack.

Emily Thornberry complained the speech was trying to draw Labour into debate (Photo: Getty Images Europe)

However, it is correct to say that policies it outlined were very similar to policies in the Conservative party manifesto.

So purely for the sake of accuracy and transparency, we have analysed Mrs May’s speech and her manifesto to show how they match up.

On tougher terror sentences

Mrs May vowed to increase prison sentences for apparently minor crimes (Photo: AFP)

THERESA MAY: If we need to increase the length of custodial sentences for terrorist-related offences – even apparently less serious offences – that is what we will do.

MANIFESTO: We will consider what new criminal offences might need to be created, and what new aggravated offences might need to be established, to defeat the extremists.

VERDICT: This policy was in the manifesto, but the reference to longer prison terms and “less serious offences” appears to be more specific than before.

On a counter-terror strategy review

Counter terror officers march near the scene of last night’s London Bridge terrorist attack (Photo: Getty Images Europe)

THERESA MAY: In light of what we are learning about the changing threat, we need to review Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy to make sure the police and security services have all the powers they need.

MANIFESTO: We will continue to invest in our world-leading security services and maintain and develop our counterterrorism strategy to protect us from terrorism at home and abroad.

VERDICT: This was in the manifesto generally, but the promise of a “review” appears to go further than the commitment to “develop” counter-terror strategy.

On stamping out extremism in Britain

Police officers and emergency services attend to a person injured last night (Photo: AFP)

THERESA MAY: There is – to be frank – far too much tolerance of extremism in our country. So we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out across the public sector and across society.

MANIFESTO: We will support the public sector and civil society in identifying extremists, countering their messages and promoting pluralistic, British values. And we will establish a Commission for Countering Extremism to identify examples of extremism and expose them.

VERDICT: This closely follows the manifesto.

On cracking down on internet giants

Internet firms have long been the focus of the Prime Minister’s ire (Photo: Getty Images Europe)

THERESA MAY: We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet, and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide. We need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorism planning.

MANIFESTO: We will continue to push the internet companies to deliver on their commitments to develop technical tools to identify and remove terrorist propaganda. We do not believe that there should be a safe space for terrorists to be able to communicate online and will work to prevent them from having this capability.

(Separate section): Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree… We will open discussions with the leading tech companies and other like-minded democracies about the global rules of the digital economy, to develop an international legal framework.

VERDICT: The manifesto did not draw as direct a link between international internet regulation and terrorism, but all of these things had been said before by the Conservatives, and elements of all of them were there.

On creating ‘one truly United Kingdom’

Mrs May had already unveiled an ‘integration strategy’ (Photo: Getty)

THERESA MAY: We need to live our lives not in a series of separated, segregated communities, but as one truly United Kingdom.

MANIFESTO: We will bring forward a new integration strategy, which will seek to help people in more isolated communities to engage with the wider world, help women in particular into the workplace, and teach more people to speak English. We will work with schools to make sure that those with intakes from one predominant racial, cultural or religious background teach their students about pluralistic, British values and help them to get to know people with different ways of life.

VERDICT: It’s phrased differently but in policy terms, this closely follows the manifesto.

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London Bridge terror attack