HOME AFFAIRS – EARLY RELEASE OF RECRUITERS – 11 May 2006

Dr Julian Lewis: I am sure that the Home Secretary will do well in his new position, although he probably regrets having to leave his job at Defence, which, I know, it was his lifetime's ambition to obtain. May I ask him to pay some attention to the question of the recruiters and indoctrinators in this country? They have the multiplier effect. He referred in his statement to the role of one of them, who is in jail. We know the difficulties of putting such people in jail, so when they are in jail, can they be excluded from being released halfway through their sentences?

[The Secretary of State for the Home Department (John Reid): As a general response to what the Hon. Gentleman says, I agree very much. Just as important as operational terrorists are those who train, inspire and guide operational terrorists. That is the mixed threat. I cannot, with my limited experience in the Home Office, give him any guarantees on sentencing policy – I think that I will be turning my mind to that next Monday afternoon – but I take the point that he makes.]