Home Secretary Amber Rudd has warned the Jewish community about the growing threat from far-right extremists, in a speech at the Jewish News-BICOM Policy Conference at Westminster this week.
Reacting to the sentencing of Thomas Mair, a neo-Nazi sympathiser who attacked and killed pro-European Labour MP Jo Cox in June, Rudd said white supremacists were becoming “increasingly sophisticated” in their operational methods.
Rudd, who took the helm at the Home Office after her predecessor Theresa May moved into 10 Downing Street, was speaking at the UK-Israel Shared Strategic Challenges conference at Portcullis House.
“Sadly the Jewish community knows all too well the reality of having to live with the threat from terrorism and hate crime,” she said, reflecting on reports of hundreds of anti-Semitic incidents recorded across the UK last year.
“Any attack of that kind is one attack too many,” she said. “Events in Paris last year highlighted the particular risks faced by the Jewish community from Islamist extremists, while the sentencing of Thomas Mair this month demonstrated the evil of extreme right-wing acts of terrorism.”
She added: “Far right and extreme right wing groups have become increasingly sophisticated in the use of social media for promotion and recruitment, and currently around a quarter of the cases getting support through Channel, part of our Prevent programme, are for extreme right wing radicalisation.”
In her role as Home Secretary, she declared her “absolute determination” to challenge extremism, saying: “We can only effectively challenge hatred and division by working together – not just internationally but at home– Government, police, local people and organisations.”
She added: “In a Britain… there is no place for hatred, no place for racist or religious hate crimes, and we will not ignore the threat to any community in this country. We are the sum of all our parts – a proud, diverse society. We must come together, and stand united against those who would use hate to divide us.”