Boris Johnson calls on social media firms to take down hate videos quicker after Parliament attack

Ben Riley-Smith
Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary - 2017 Getty Images

Boris Johnson has demanded that social media companies do more to take down “corrupting” hate sermons posted online to curb radicalisation. 

The Foreign Secretary warned that “polluting” messages were circulating across the internet and that firms had to act quicker to take them offline. 

He said the fight to defeat Isil must win over people’s “hearts and minds” as well as “crushing” the jihadists on the battlefield. 

Mr Johnson also invoked the spirit of Sir Winston Churchill as he said Britons will “never surrender” and “never give in” to terror in the wake of the Parliament attack. 

The Foreign Secretary made the intervention during a trip to America to attend a conference of nations fighting Isil. 

Mr Johnson said: "We are going to have to engage not just militarily in Syria and Iraq, as we are doing, to crush the dark star that they have created, that absurd, pompous statelet that they have created, but also to win in their hearts and minds and to stop the stuff on the internet that is corrupting and polluting so many people.

"This is something that the internet companies and social media companies need to think about.

"They need to do more to take that stuff off their media, the incitements, the information about how to become a terrorist, the radicalising sermons and messages. That needs to come down."

Asked what Churchill's message to modern-day Britons would be, Mr Johnson told MSNBC's Morning Joe programme: "The lesson that Winston Churchill would want the British people to take from his life and what he stood for would be 'Never, never, never, never surrender. Never give in'. And we won't."

Mr Johnson is in charge of MI6 and GCHQ through his role as Foreign Secretary, which he has held since last July. He was also London Mayor for eight years, stepping down in 2016. 

He said "a huge amount of surveillance and monitoring" was required to tackle the small number of extremists plotting attacks on the capital. 

The former Churchill biographer said it was vital for life in the city to continue as normal, declaring: "The way to lose the war on terror is to be terrified, even for a second. We are not terrified and we will go on."

Mr Johnson also paid tribute to the "absolute heroism" of Pc Keith Palmer, who died after being stabbed by the attacker.

"Our thoughts are very much with the victims and families and with Pc Keith Palmer who behaved with absolute heroism.

Mr Johnson is expected to meet members of Donald Trump’s inner circle during his visit to America, which was planned before the attack on Wednesday. 

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