Theresa May buries international terror funding report for ‘national security reasons’

Theresa May
Theresa May accused of looking the other way from Saudi links to UK extremists. Carl Court / Getty
  • Home Office squash long-delayed report into international financing of UK extremists.
  • Ministers say “national security” concerns prevent its publication.
  • Theresa May has been accused of looking the other way from Saudi links to UK extremism.
  • Opponents say decision to bury report is “not good enough”.

LONDON — A review commissioned by the Home Office into the funding of extremist and terror groups in the UK will never be published because of “national security reasons,” ministers announced today.

A written statement slipped out on Wednesday afternoon confirms that the long-delayed review, which was expected to reveal widespread links between Saudi Arabia and extremists in the UK, has now been shelved permanently.

“Having taken advice, I have decided against publishing the classified report produced during the review in full, Home Office Minister Baroness Williams confirmed.

“This is because of the volume of personal information it contains and for national security reasons. We will be inviting privy councillors from the opposition parties to the Home Office to have access to classified report on privy council terms.”

The Home Office has instead published a brief summary of the contents of the report.

The prime minister last week identified the international financing of extremism in the UK as one of the main priorities for the G20 summit.

However, the government has been accused by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of being reluctant to expose the links between the Saudis and extremism in the UK because of the ongoing arms trade between the two countries.

The decision to squash the report was described as “not good enough” by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.

“The Government’s refusal to publish this report, and this utterly vague statement, are completely unacceptable. The statement gives absolutely no clue as to which countries foreign funding for extremism originates from — leaving the Government open to further allegations of refusing to expose the role of Saudi Arabian money in terrorism in the UK,” Lucas said.

“The Government accept that foreign funding is a significant source of income for some extremist groups here in Britain — but they won’t say in public where that money is coming from. It’s not good enough to simply let Privvy councillors see this report — because such a rule excludes party leaders like myself who are trying to hold this Government to account on this issue and shine a spotlight on the deep complicity between Whitehall and Riyadh.”

This is a developing story…