The Muslim community in Britain “will get the protection that they deserve”, the Home Secretary has said, in the wake of the Christchurch massacre and subsequent attacks on mosques in Birmingham.
Sajid Javid told MPs in the Commons: “As Home Secretary I’ve been clear, far and extreme right-wing extremism have no place in Britain.
“The Government takes this issue very seriously and it is routinely discussed by ministers.”
His comments came as shadow home secretary Diane Abbott warned of “grave concern” in the Muslim community in the light of the massacre in New Zealand.
She urged Mr Javid to consider helping Muslim community centres with funding for necessary security.
Speaking during Home Office questions, Ms Abbott spoke of the growing threat from the far right, adding: “The Home Secretary will be aware of recent reports that right wing extremists are accessing Isis-related terrorists training materials.”
She asked Mr Javid to confirm meetings had taken place between senior Home Office officials, Scotland Yard and security agencies with senior representatives of both the Muslim and Jewish communities.
She said: “There is grave concern in the Muslim community in the light of the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand and the subsequent attacks on mosques in Birmingham, is he able to give assurances about access to funding for the security of mosques and other places of worship in the same way as funding is available to the CST (Community Security Trust) for the security of synagogues.
“And is he aware that there are very many Muslim community centres like my own North London Muslim community centre which is next door to the mosque, forms part of the same complex of buildings and feels very much at threat.
“Is he prepared to consider looking at helping them with the funding for necessary security?”
Mr Javid said he understood why there were “heightened concerns amongst our British Muslim communities, that is why we need to do more” and that soon after the Christchurch massacre he set out what immediate action the department was taking with the increase in the places of worship funding.
He said: “I think she’s right to raise the issue of Muslim community centres and that’s why I want to work with Muslim community leaders and others to listen to them about what needs to be done…. I think all (MPs) in this House are united to make sure that our Muslim community in Britain who we cherish feel hugely valued and they will get the protection that they deserve and no one should feel intimidated in any way whatsoever.”
Labour’s Alex Sobel (Leeds North West) called on Mr Javid to “urgently investigate with the Met Police how a convicted far right leader and groups were allowed to whip up hate right outside Parliament?”
Mr Javid replied: “Sadly what he has pointed (out), there have been many especially in recent weeks, instances of abuse and intimidation of MPs.
“Of course all MPs should be able to go about their business with complete confidence…of course all staff as well, everyone that works in the cradle of our democracy.
“And it’s important that the police, both the Met Police and local police forces and House authorities are working together which they are, I just had a meeting just last week with police officials and others to see what more we can do.”