HOME AFFAIRS – PROSCRIPTION OF TERROR GROUPS – 20 July 2006

Dr Julian Lewis: Over the period in which the legislation has been in force, is there evidence that any of the groups that were proscribed in the past reconstituted themselves ostensibly as new groups and thus had to be proscribed again?

[Tony McNulty: There is, so I am grateful for the hon. Gentleman's comment. He will know that an order subject to the negative procedure is before the House today. The PKK is a proscribed Kurdistan group. We believe that we have sufficient information that suggests that the two groups that are the subject of that order – KADEK and Kongra Gele Kurdistan – are simply successor groups to the PKK, which is why they can be proscribed simply by such an order under section 22 of the Terrorism Act 2006, unless the order is prayed against during the 21 days, or whatever it is, for which it is laid. We rightly included that provision in the Act because we had evidence of such activity.] ...

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[Mr Andrew Dismore: ...I agree with the comments of the hon. Member for Newark (Patrick Mercer) about the problems of the splinter groups that are continually set up. It is a little like the Trotskyists in the 1970s. Whenever one looked at them, they were a different organisation. The present case is rather more sinister and rather more dangerous than the Trotskyists ever were. They may have purported to undermine society as we knew it, but they never got very far.]

Dr Lewis: I cannot resist a brief trip down memory lane. Although it is true that Trotskyists and other far left groups and, indeed, pro-Soviet groups used to rename themselves, it was nevertheless also true that when the hon. Gentleman's party fatally abolished the proscribed list, that had a huge effect on reviving the overt way in which those groups were able to function. That is why, despite the danger of reinvention, proscription is worth while.