London MP calls for crackdown on extremists radicalising from prison cells

Francesca Gillett
Siobhain McDonagh raised a question in Home Office questions about radicalisation in prisons: PA Archive/PA Images

A south London MP is leading calls to crack down on radicalisation within UK prisons after an extremist killer preached hate from his jail cell.

MPs heard how taxi driver Tanveer Ahmed was able to radicalise other prisoners from his cell after he was jailed for 27 years for murdering Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah last year.

Ahmed drove hundreds of miles to attack Mr Shah, a member of the Ahmadi community, who he believed had disrespected the prophet Mohammed.

Siobhain McDonagh, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, said preventing radicalisation was a key factor in countering terrorism.

Speaking during Home Office questions, the Mitcham and Morden MP said: "You will be aware of the case of Tanveer Ahmed, who is in prison for murdering the peaceful Ahmadi shopkeeper Mr Asad Shah.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said tackling radicalisation was a

"Yet from his prison cell he is using the phone and letters to continue radicalising people against Ahmadi Muslims.

"Given the increase in anti-Ahmadi extremism, are you confident that you have enough Urdu speakers in the entry clearance section at the High Commission in Islamabad and here in London?"

Ahmadis differ from other Muslims in their belief that Mohammed is not the final prophet, which many orthodox Muslims believe is blasphemous.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said tackling radicalisation was a key pillar of the Government's counter extremism strategy.

Responding to Ms McDonagh, she said: "You raise a very important element of our counter terrorism and our counter extremism strategy, which is indeed about counter radicalism and I can reassure you that there is a lot of additional work going on in prisons to ensure that counter-radicalism takes place.

"The Justice Secretary has taken additional steps to work with people who are being radicalised or are the sources of radicalisation, and I hope that will yield positive results."

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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