HOME AFFAIRS – COUNTER-TERRORISM – 2 July 2007

Dr Julian Lewis: In his major speech on terrorism last October and again over the weekend, the Prime Minister drew a justified comparison between the successful efforts to isolate and undermine the ideas of militant communism during the Cold War and the effort that needs to be made now in respect of the doctrines that motivate such attacks. Will the Home Secretary tell us whether the Research, Information and Communications Unit, which it was announced in March would be set up for such purposes in the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, is in fact up and running, and whether the new Minister with responsibility for home security, Sir Alan West, whose appointment I warmly welcome, will have a role in connection with that unit?

[The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Jacqui Smith): I can confirm that the RICU, to which the hon. Gentleman has referred, has been set up. It is in its early days, but it has been set up within the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism. My hon. Friend the Minister for Security, Counter Terrorism and Police, Admiral Sir Alan West and I will take responsibility for security and counter-terrorism. We will push forward on the need to counter the destructive ideology which the hon. Gentleman has rightly mentioned, and on all other elements of our counter-terror work, too.]