by Peter Walker
Theresa May has warned there has been “far too much tolerance of extremism” in the UK and promised to step up the fight against Islamist terrorism in the wake of the London Bridge attack, saying “enough is enough”.
The prime minister struck a sombre and serious tone as she spoke outside No 10 on Sunday morning after chairing a meeting of the Cobra committee following the attack in the centre of the capital that left seven dead.
She said internet companies must not allow extremism a place to exist, but that there was also a need to tackle “safe spaces in real world”, which would require “difficult” conversations.
May also suggested the idea of increased prison terms for terrorism offences, even relatively minor ones.
Islamist militancy was the thread that linked the otherwise unconnected attacks in London Bridge, Westminster and Manchester, she said.
“It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth,” she said. “Defeating this ideology is one of the great challenges of our time. But it cannot be defeated through military intervention alone.”
She continued: “It is time to say enough is enough. Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.”
May said the recent spate of attacks showed the UK was “experiencing a new trend in the threat we face”.
She said: “As terrorism breeds terrorism and perpetrators are inspired to attack, not only on the basis of carefully constructed plots after years of planning and training, and not even as lone attackers radicalised online, but by copying one another and often using the crudest of means of attack.”
To read the full piece from The Guardian, click here.