Conservative Diary

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David Cameron tackles Brown over Government funding of Islamic extremists at PMQs

12.02 Gordon Brown begins by paying tribute to the latest casualty in Afghanistan and PC Bill Barker who died in the course of duties during the Cumbria flooding - as well as the emergency services for their efforts.

Picture 13 12.05 David Cameron echoes the Prime Minister's tributes. He asks how quickly a temporary bridge could be put up in affected part of Cumbria.

12.06 Brown say it could be done "fairly quickly" and hopes to give further information later.

12.07 Cameron wants everything done in the run up to Christmas to make the lives easier of those affected by the flooding.

12.08 Brown says the Government is doing "everything in our power" to do that.

Picture 11 12.09 Cameron asks about the extremist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, which the Government has failed to ban and wants to know it hasn't had any public money. Brown cannot give that assurance. Cameron then reveals that £113,000 has been given to a foundation to which they are linked which was involved in setting up a school. Brown says he will look into it. * Scroll down for additional note on the issue

12.10 Cameron insists the foundation is a front for Hizb ut-Tahrir and that Michael Gove wrote to the education minister about it last week and that the Government should have known about it.  He demands a bigger inquiry into how things like this can happen.

12.14 Cameron raises the matter of another organisation [Islam4UK] he wants to see banned. When will the Government get a grip on this issue?

12.15 Brown says Cameron will regret some of the accusations he has made this morning and that the Government is doing "everything in its power" to deal with the terrorist threat and that proscription should be based on hard evidence of threatened violence.

Picture 14 12.16 Nick Clegg wants the Chilcot Inquiry to be able to publish all information relevant to the inquiry save information relating to national security. Brown says it is a matter for the inquiry. Clegg says that Whitehall departments will have acts of vetoes and that the inquiry is being suffocated on day one by "the Government's shameful culture of secrecy". Brown says that Chilcot and his team are happy with the terms as far as he is aware.

12.20 Tory backbencher Sir Patrick Cormack asks when the PM realised he was infallible! Brown says he's doing a better job at handling the recession etc than the Conservatives would.

12.23 Labour backbencher Parmjit Dhanda responds to Cameron's questions by saying that the advice of ACPO is crucial in deciding on procsription. Brown agrees and somehow manages to bring Tory policy on inheritance tax into his answer.

12.31 In response to a question from Lib Dem Evan Harris, Gordon Brown says the Act of Succession is "outdated" and wants consultation across the Commonwealth on its future.


"Cameron asked a couple of statesmanlike questions relating to the flooding before making some robust challenges about government money being directed to those extremist organisations. Brown was on the hop and I imagine there will be serious questions asked back at the DCSF as to why no-one acted on Michael Gove's letter."

* The party later issued the following statement explaining the situation, in relation to the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation (ISF) which it describes as "an organisation with close links to Hizb-ut-Tahrir" and that how it has been allowed to run schools and receive public funding for its activities:

"All schools are supposed to be registered with the Department for Children, Schools and Families but there is no record of the ISF school in Haringey being registered. The Prime Minister indicated today that both schools have been inspected but there is no evidence that Ofsted have inspected the Haringey school. Shadow Children’s Secretary Michael Gove has asked parliamentary questions about the matter and last week wrote to Children’s Secretary Ed Balls. He also wrote to Haringey Council and the Charity Commission. Haringey council and the Charity Commission sent holding replies, Ed Balls has not yet replied."

Jonathan Isaby


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