May has been accused of burying a report about Saudi Arabian funding
of Islamist extremism in the UK for fear it may damage relations with
report, which was originally commissioned by David Cameron in January
last year, was due to be completed by last Easter and is believed to
have been in Ms May’s possession for at least six months.
study, which began while Ms May was still Home Secretary, was
designed to examine the origins and scale of funding of terror groups
in the UK with an additional remit to follow international funding
is believed the report was commissioned as part of a deal struck with
the Liberal Democrats to gain their support for British airstrikes
against Syria in December 2015.
a response to a parliamentary question asked by Green MP Caroline
Lucas, Ms May said: “The review into the funding of Islamist
extremism has improved the Government’s understanding of the
nature, scale and sources of funding for Islamist extremism in the
are considering advice on what is able to be published and will
report to Parliament with an update in due course.”
month, a spokesman for the Home Office admitted to The Guardian that
the report may never be published as its contents were “very
coming to power in July last year Ms May has courted the conservative
kingdom, which is one of the main buyers of UK-made arms.
this year, the Government approved £3.5bn-worth of arms exports
licences to the Gulf state.
British ministers have visited Saudi Arabia over the last year to
cultivate trading relationships as the UK looks for post-Brexit
trading partners and the kingdom, under new Crown Prince Mohammad Bin
Salman, is trying to diversify its economy away from oil.
Lucas called the delay “astonishing”, telling The Guardian: “To
defeat terror it’s vital that politicians have full view of the
facts, even if they are inconvenient for the government.”
political leaders have condemned the delay with Labour leader Jeremy
Corbyn castigating the government for not addressing Saudi Arabia
when talking about the need to tackle Islamist extremism.
a speech in Carlisle on the election trail he said the "difficult
conversations" Ms May wants to have about extremism need to
start with "Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states".
is no good Theresa May suppressing a report into the foreign funding
of extremist groups. We have to get serious about cutting off the
funding to these terror networks, including Isis, here and in the
Middle East,” he said