Ministers have been accused of leaving Londoners “vulnerable” to a terrorist attack by failing to clamp down on radicalisation and extremism within the Muslim community.
The claim was made by Labour’s Mayoral candidate, Sadiq Khan, who described home-grown terrorism as “the biggest security threat facing Londoners today”.
Mr Khan has called on the government to overhaul its Prevent anti-extremism programme, work with internet providers to block access to extremist websites and do more to promote social integration.
Last week David Cameron called for more Muslim women to learn English but Mr Khan says the Prime Minister’s intervention is at odds with cuts in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) budgets which have fallen by 35 per cent since 2009.
The mayoral hopeful said: “The Government must act to get extremist websites taken down, promote greater social integration and support mainstream Muslims to speak out against the extremists.
“Most urgently, they must reform the anti-extremism programmes so that they actually work to keep Londoners safe. For too long this Government have identified the problem but done nothing to fix it.
“Cutting funding to help people learn English was extremely short-sighted – we need to give people more opportunities to learn English and integrate into society – not fewer.
“As Mayor, tackling radicalisation and extremism will be one of my top priorities.”
Mr Khan’s comments come just weeks after the capital’s policing watchdog raised concerns about the effectiveness and consistency of the Prevent programme and called for Londoners to be more involved in the fight against extremism.