Britain is too tolerant and should interfere more in people's lives, says David Cameron

The PM is unveiling measures to crack down on 'extremists'

Jon Stone
Thursday 14 May 2015 13:03
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David Cameron leaves Downing Street on 11 May, 2015
David Cameron leaves Downing Street on 11 May, 2015

Britain is too “passively tolerant” and should not leave people to live their lives as they please just because they obey the law, David Cameron has said.

At the National Security Council today Mr Cameron unveiled a series of measures that he said would crack down on people holding minority “extremist” views that differed from Britain’s consensus.

“For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone',” he said.

“It's often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that's helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.”

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 today, however, the Home Secretary Theresa May said that tolerance and rule of law were ‘British values’.

“[The measures are part of a] bigger picture, a strategy which will also have as a key part of it actually promoting our British values, our values of democracy, rule of law, tolerance and acceptance of different faiths,” she said.

She said the measures would focus on “seeking to undermine the very values that make us a great country to live in”.

Ms May first set out the proposals presented by Mr Cameron before the general election but was prevented from bringing them forward by the Liberal Democrats.

The package of powers, first proposed in March, would allow courts to force a person to send their tweets and Facebook posts to the police for approval.

Ofcom will have new powers to pressurise broadcasters which show content deemed “extreme” while the Charity Commission would be mandated to scrutinise charities who “misappropriate funds”.

The Prime Minister's comments about tolerance were met with criticism on social media.

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