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London terror attacks: Enough is enough, says PM May as she unveils 4-point plan

But Corbyn accuses PM of trying to protect public 'on the cheap' after police cuts

By Andrew Woodcock

Prime Minister Theresa May promised action against terror on four fronts as she declared after the London Bridge attacks that "things need to change".

Along with the sympathy for victims, the praise for emergency workers and the appeals for unity heard after the Westminster killings and the Manchester suicide bombing, Mrs May responded to the latest outrage by setting out plans for Government action.

Her stance led to accusations from Labour that she was making political capital on a day when the major parties had agreed to put election campaigning on hold.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street after meeting with senior cabinet colleagues and security chiefs in the Government's Cobra emergency committee, Mrs May delivered an uncompromising message on the need to step up Britain's response to the terror threat.

"We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are. Things need to change and they need to change in four important ways," she said.

The new approach will involve:

- A drive to counter extremist propaganda and turn those susceptible to radicalisation away from violence, by making them understand that British values of freedom, democracy and human rights are "superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate".

- International agreements to regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremist ideology and terrorism planning.

- Action to prevent the growth of separate, segregated communities in the UK.

- A review of counter-terrorism strategy to ensure that police and security services have all of the powers they need to deal with the fast-changing threat from terror. This could include longer jail sentences for terror-related offences.

Mrs May said that the Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge atrocities had seen a new form of copycat attack by individuals and small groups, who are not necessarily linked in a network but are inspired by each other's actions.

She identified the common thread behind the attacks as "the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division and promotes sectarianism".

Mrs May said that security and intelligence agencies and police had disrupted five credible plots since the Westminster attack in March.

And she said: "Since the emergence of the threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism, our country has made significant progress in disrupting plots and protecting the public.

"But 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."

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn tore into Mrs May's security record in the wake of the London Bridge attack, accusing her of trying to "protect the public on the cheap".

In a speech in Carlisle, the Labour leader highlighted the 20,000 police officers cut while Ms May was Home Secretary and Prime Minister and said the police "must get the resources they need".

Speaking less than 24 hours after the latest terror outrage, after a short political truce, the Labour leader also said the aim of terrorists was "plainly to derail our democracy" - and that the election must not be postponed.

Pointing the finger again at Ms May's record, Mr Corbyn said the "difficult conversations" suggested by the Prime Minister in her Downing Street speech this morning should start "with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that have funded and fuelled extremist ideology".

"Our priority must be public safety and I will take whatever action is necessary and effective to protect the security of our people and our country," Mr Corbyn told his audience.

"That includes full authority for the police to use whatever force is necessary to protect and save life as they did last night, as they did in Westminster in March.

"You cannot protect the public on the cheap. The police and security services must get the resources they need, not 20,000 police cuts."

Belfast Telegraph


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