Tory leader Rishi Sunak vows to tackle extremism

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With his campaign calling “Islamist extremism” the U.K’s “most significant terror threat”,Rishi Sunak, former Chancellor and candidate for the post of Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader, said he would widen the government’s definition of extremism and scrutinise publicly funded charities accused of promoting extremist ideology.

Part of Mr. Sunak’s plan, which was released by his campaign, was focused on the ‘Prevent’ programme, a government strategy to prevent individuals from supporting or becoming terrorists and adds “vilification of the United Kingdom” to the definition of extremism. Mr. Sunak’s agenda also goes into extremism in prisons, including seeking to separate extremists from the general prison population.

Also read: Who will be the next British Prime Minister? All you need to know

Mr. Sunak’s plan was announced as his opponent, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, continued, on Tuesday, to win the backing of Cabinet colleagues, including a former contender for the leadership, Minister of State for Trade Penny Mordaunt. Another former contender and MP, Tom Tugendhat, had already declared his support for Ms. Truss, who had also secured the backing of Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi.

Polls of Conservative members for their choice of Prime Minister showed varying results. A new poll of 1,043 Conservative Party members conducted by YouGov for The Times showed Ms. Truss with a 34 percentage point lead over Mr. Sunak, with 60% of Tory members saying they would vote for the Foreign Secretary versus 26% for Mr. Sunak (margin of error +/- 3%), with the others undeciding or not planning to vote. A July 20 survey had 40% supporting Ms. Truss and 31% supporting the former Chancellor.