7 June 2010 at 4pm

Our first Parliamentary Candidate Research Report

A new Student Rights report has revealed growing support for tough action against extremism and radicalisation in the UK, specifically on university campuses. We surveyed 164 parliamentary candidates during the general election campaign period, revealing that over 90% of prospective parliamentarians are aware and greatly concerned about extremism in the UK.

Raheem Kassam, Director of Student Rights comments: “It is greatly encouraging that such a majority of potential lawmakers in this country are aware that radicalisation is a growing problem.   What we would like to see now is staunch action alongside university and police authorities in tackling extremism and the recruitment that is occurring on campuses UK-wide.  It must start with proscribing the Islamist group ‘Hizb-ut-Tahrir’ immediately.”        

The report asked ten questions of candidates standing for Parliament and revealed that most candidates and re-standing MPs are cognisant of extremism issues, however felt that they were under informed on some issues, especially pertaining to university matters and radical group ‘Hizb-ut-Tahrir’.

A majority of candidates endorsed Special Branch action on campuses, while maintaining that university authorities also need to be pushing a lot harder against radicalisation on campuses and actively tackling issues when they arise.

Freedom of speech is maintained as an ideal by the findings of the survey, however in the face of security concerns, 68% of candidates responded that threats must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.  Only 4.9% endorsed absolute freedom of speech, even in the case of hate-speech or threats.

Conservative Party candidates appeared the most attuned to these matters, with 100% being ‘concerned greatly’, with 90.6% of Lib Dems responding in the same manner and 87.5% for Labour.