The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) told journalists that the list of previous terrorist attacks that the Prime Minister promised to publish during PMQs would be made available by 7pm this evening. Also that the meeting between the Prime Minister and a broader representation of the Muslim Community with the leaders of the opposition would be next Tuesday the 19 July.
Asked if Downing Street could explain the timing of her apology, the PMOS said that it was entirely a Home Office matter.
MPs Meeting with the Prime Minister
The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) told journalists that the Prime Minister's meeting this morning was very much at their request as an initial meeting to discuss the aftermath of yesterday. The MPs told the Prime Minister that they believed that the Muslim community must give leadership in tackling this form of terrorism from within the Muslim community, and the time to act was now. They also said that such action would only succeed if the Muslim community worked with the rest of the community in this country. The MPs asked for the Prime Minister's strong backing, which he gave, to work with other communities, the police, and the authorities. The Prime Minister repeated his strong view that recent events should not in any way be used as an excuse for a backlash against Muslim communities.
Put to the PMOS that the report from the Oldham Riots last year made clear that there was an indication of two parallel societies, and what had the Government done about it since, and also why was the Government not going to bring into legislation a ruling against preachers preaching about racial hatred, the PMOS said the Prime Minister would deal with some of these matters in today's PMQs. However, as we had been saying consistently since Thursday, first and foremost, anti-terrorist legislation had already been introduced in the terrorism Acts of 2000 and 2001. Secondly, the Government in its manifesto said that it would bring in further counter-terrorism measures in the autumn, and would concentrate on two particular areas, which were introducing offences for the preparation for acts of terrorism and encouraging acts of terrorism. The PMOS said we had let the police and the authorities get on with their tasks in the investigation, and we had seen the very professional way in which the police acted yesterday. If, however, the advice from the police was that we needed to move in a certain direction and move at a faster pace, then we would consider that advice very seriously. The PMOS said we had to allow the police to deal with the immediate aftermath and then hold discussions, which would begin very shortly. What the Prime Minister said when he spoke in the House earlier this week was that we would like to move with a broad consensus within the House, as well as within the community. The PMOS said it could be taken that we would also talk to others as well once there was a consensus about what we could do. The important thing was that we took measures not just for sake of taking them, but rather ones that the police and the authorities recognised were needed and were effective. With regards to what could be done within communities, the overall position was that the reporting this week had shown that there was already a lot of work going on at community level, both within and between communities. Clearly, we were going to have to step up that work and also help the Muslim community, especially as the overwhelming view of the majority of the Muslim community was that they wanted nothing to do with this kind of extremism. How we did that was precisely the point of the Prime Minister agreeing to the initial meeting with the MPs today, but we needed to take that further forward. The Prime Minister recognised it was an issue, but more importantly at this stage, the Muslim leadership itself recognised it was an issue, as did the MPs.
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