Theresa May to announce new Extremist Disruption Orders to strengthen counter-terrorism if the Tories win the next general election
They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to “the functioning of democracy”, under the new Extremist Disruption Orders.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will lay out plans to allow judges to ban people from broadcasting or protesting in certain places, as well as associating with specific people.
The plans — to be brought in if the Conservatives win the election in May — are part of a wide-ranging set of rules to strengthen the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy.
The announcement at the annual party conference in Birmingham will come as the Conservatives position themselves as the party toughest on the terror threat.
The UK’s terror threat level was raised from “substantial” to “severe” at the end of August in response to conflicts in Iraq and Syria.
The Home Secretary will also introduce “banning orders” for extremist groups, which would make it a criminal offence to be a member of or raise funds for a group that spreads or promotes hatred. The maximum sentence could be up to 10 years in prison.
The new orders will be part of the Government’s “Prevent” strategy, which tackles the ideology behind the terrorist threat. So-called hate preachers, who currently stay just within terrorism legislation, will be one of the targets of banning orders and Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs).
Earlier this month, David Cameron announced that the police would be given new powers to seize the passports of terrorist suspects and stop British jihadists from returning to the UK.
The Prime Minister said it was “abhorrent” that British citizens had “declared their allegiance” to groups such as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and said the UK was looking at “specific and discretionary” powers to bar suspects from returning home.
Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, has said the Government should take action to stop young Britons being drawn to extremist ideology, with tougher measures to prevent would-be jihadis travelling to join Isil fighters in Iraq and Syria.
EDOs would apply if a judge is convinced that an individual is carrying out their activities for “the purpose of overthrowing democracy”.
Terrorism Investigation and Prevention Measures were introduced in 2012, shortly after control orders were scrapped for being too restrictive. They include electronic tagging, reporting regularly to the police and facing “tightly defined exclusion from particular places and the prevention of travel overseas”.