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Activist to lead counter-extremism commission


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Sara Khan's appointment has been criticised by some.

Sara Khan will run the commission

Sara Khan will run the commission


The government has appointed a prominent campaigner to lead a drive to tackle extremism.

Sara Khan will head up the newly created Commission for Countering Extremism, the Home Office has announced.

Ms Khan, a counter-extremism and women's rights activist, said she was "honoured and humbled".

The body will be tasked with identifying and challenging all forms of extremism, advising ministers on new policies and promoting "pluralistic British values".

Its remit is also expected to include helping train schools and colleges to spot warning signs and ensuring women's rights are upheld.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "She will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the commission which will prove vital as it works to identify and challenge extremism and provide independent advice to the government."

But former Tory chairman Baroness Warsi described it as "a deeply disturbing appointment".

She wrote on Twitter: "Sara has unfortunately been a strong advocate of the government's policy of disengagement, a policy which many, including members of the police and intelligence services, consider has damaged the important battle to engage Britain's Muslim communities.

"For the Commissioner to be effective the person had to be an independent thinker, both connected to and respected by a cross-section of British Muslims.”

Ms Khan has not yet responded to the comments but at a conference last year warned that the most prominent group trying to undermine the Prevent strategy are Islamists.

She also slammed politicians for “playing political football” over counter-terror strategy.

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