For those who have been following the thread on whether the Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) agenda is divisive and more importantly whether it’s working, here is the letter that I sent back to the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) following their inherently bland response to me a few weeks ago (read their letter here):
Thank you for your recent letter, ref P1/PD/027933/08, of which I have noted the comments.
I would like you to clarify two particular points for me.
The first relates to the sixth paragraph in your letter where you state that:
“…we have seen that violent extremism can emerge from even the most cohesive and empowered communities. It is clear that we need a specific response to this challenge.”
Could you detail what ‘specific response’ including examples you have made in this respect.
The second relates to your final comment:
“As a Government we are clear that all forms of extremism should be challenged, and we are taking action on this front – including work to tackle extreme right wing groups.”
I have reviewed the report you draw my attention to, ‘Preventing Violent Extremism: Next Steps for Communities’ and it mentions far-right extremist groups only once:
“Extremists try to sow division in this country and Government is taking decisive action on all fronts – including tackling the hateful views and actions of extreme right-wing groups.” (p.10)
Could you therefore provide some examples of projects that have been funded through the entire Prevent strategy and its associated funding streams, those projects that have explicitly sought to address far-right extremism including the budget for this?
Under the Freedom of Information Act (if I need to complete any specific or official documentation please forward this by return) could you also supply the following information:
The names, locations and contact details (including the local authorities that they are connected to) of the Local Forums on Extremism and Islamophobia that the above named report refers to.
The names of all the projects that have been supported with money from the Prevent Violent Extremism Pathfinder fund.
I would prefer this information to be sent to in an electronic format although should you prefer to send hard copies, my address is shown below.
Can I thank you for your co-operation and look forward to hearing from you in the very near future. Please acknowledge receipt of this e-mail.
All responses and updates will be added as soon as they are received.