CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

HOME AFFAIRS – PROSCRIBED ORGANISATIONS – 19 January 2011

Dr Julian Lewis: My hon. Friend said that this was the ninth in a series of proscriptions. Bearing in mind some of the reservations that were expressed at the time that the original legislation was enacted, can he reassure the House that there has been no sign of any previously proscribed organisations seeking to get round the proscription by such devices as changing their names?

[The Minister for Immigration (Damian Green): Indeed, that is one of the activities that concerns Ministers and it is one of the things that has happened in the past. Organisations have sought to reappear under different names and have been re-proscribed. We are extremely aware of the very serious problem to which my hon. Friend refers.]

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Dr Lewis: I am still not quite clear about one aspect. Surely the banning of an organisation in this country is carried out because there is reason to suspect that it is going to try to be active in this country. It is not simply a matter of trying to perform a terrorist act, which would be a crime in any case, but of trying to function in this country. Is there any evidence that either this group or its sympathisers are currently active in this country? There are of course all sorts of terrorist groups around the world that are not active in this country which we do not seek to add them to our own proscribed list.

[The Minister for Immigration (Damian Green): If I were to answer my hon. Friend in detail, I would reveal intelligence information. I am sure that he, with his distinguished background in defence, would not want me to do that. I would refer him to the list of criteria I mentioned, which includes attacks on British citizens and British interests, along with those of our allies around the world. I think it would be beneficial if he studied those criteria carefully.]