Following a legal challenge by Rights Watch UK over his appointment, Lord Carlile has been stood down by the government as independent reviewer of the Prevent programme.
Rights Watch UK launched the challenge over concerns of the independence of the review due to Lord Carlile’s declaration of support for the programme in the past. The programme which is aimed at combatting radicalisation leading to terrorism is not viewed favourably by many in the Muslim communities, with some deeming it to be a state tool for spying on them.
Speaking on behalf of Rights Watch UK, Yasmine Ahmed, the executive director, welcomed the news:
“This is an outstanding victory for those who are committed to seeing a genuine and robust review of the Prevent strategy”
“Our concerns with Lord Carlile have always been clear, and well-evidenced. His long-standing objection to any kind of criticism or overhaul of Prevent is no secret and he has a track record of discrediting those who raised concerns about Prevent. This meant the Review lacked buy-in and cooperation from those it most needed to engage.”
A judicial review hearing that was scheduled for next month will now not go ahead. Rights Watch UK has committed to working with the Home Office and the Secretary of State to ensure a Review is conducted that can fulfil its mandate