Emergency terrorism legislation to be put to Parliament

Monday, February 10, 2020

Emergency legislation that would prevent the automatic release of dozens of terrorists will be introduced to Parliament.

Brandon Lewis told MPs that the changes would see that around 50 prisoners currently behind bars for terror offences are not automatically released halfway through their sentence.

The Conservative MP said in the House of Commons today that the government “will not hesitate to take decisive action” to ensure public safety.

“This government will be introducing emergency legislation in Parliament tomorrow that will end the automatic early release of terrorist offenders without first there being a thorough risk assessment done by the Parole Board.

“Those considered still a threat to public safety will be forced to spend the rest of the time in prison.

“These changes will mean around 50 terrorist prisoners already serving effective sentences will see their automatic release halted.”

Mr Lewis added that the government was considering whether new laws are needed to provide additional reassurance when terrorist offenders are released from prison.

Measures could include stringent conditions during post-release licence periods and notification requirements for terrorist offenders.

The move comes after a convicted terrorist killed two and injured three in an attack near London Bridge in November last year.

Usman Khan, 28, had been released from prison on licence in December 2018 after serving less than half of his 16-year sentence.

At the time of the incident, Boris Johnson vowed to take steps to “ensure dangerous terrorists serve their full sentence”.

And earlier this month another attack by a terrorist on early release took place in Streatham, injuring three people.

Following this latest attack, the Prime Minister said: “I think people’s patience with this system has really come to an end.

“People don’t want us to continue just automatically releasing people without any kind of parole system or scrutiny or intermediation of any kind, so we’re ending that.”

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