Yard chief Cressida Dick: We will act if preacher breaks law

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Scotland Yard is liaising with prosecutors over the statements of hardline Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary and would act swiftly if he broke the law in the wake of the Woolwich terrorist attack, the head of its anti-terrorism branch told MPs.

Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick said it was constantly assessing his proclamations after the preacher revealed that one of the suspected killers was a "very nice man" and said he could not feel sorry for the victim, Drummer Lee Rigby, who like all non-Muslims, would burn in "hellfires".

"In the case of somebody like Mr Choudary, we are constantly assessing whether his proclamations are breaking the criminal law and working with the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure that if it's breaking the criminal law, we deal with it very swiftly," she told MPs. She also expressed frustration that members of proscribed groups could avoid prosecution by changing the name of their organisations.

AC Dick declined to say if Mr Choudary received police protection but said there were risk assessments around high-profile individuals.