Home Secretary to examine Treason law proposal

Policy Exchange’s proposal for a new law of treason, which would help prosecute returning Isis fighters, has been discussed in the House of Commons and House of Lords and received coverage in The Sun. Responding to a question on a new treason law from Tom Tugendhat MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, in the House of Commons, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, the Home Secretary, commented: “These are issues that I am taking very seriously. We are looking at this and I would be happy to meet with him and discuss this further.” In the House of Lords, Baroness Williams said: “I commend the Policy Exchange paper, and I think that the noble Lord would agree that the Home Secretary has said that he will review all the laws we have at hand.” Read the recent Policy Exchange paper, Aiding the Enemy: How and why to restore the law of treason.  

Theresa May responds to Lord Bew’s Backstop paper

In a Q and A after her speech in Belfast on how Brexit will affect Northern Ireland, the Prime Minister was asked about Lord Bew’s recent Policy Exchange paper, The Backstop Paralysis: A Way Out. Specifically, did she agree with his assessment that the UK Government has not challenged the Irish Government’s narrative on the Good Friday Agreement being under threat. Read her response on the Guardian’s live blog.

Davidson and Darling

‘Superb’ Building Beautiful essay collection features in The Times

“Beauty may have been neglected for years, but now decision-makers are moving in the right direction,” says Clare Foges in The Times. She praises Building Beautiful as “a superb collection of essays published… by the think tank Policy Exchange” and mentions contributions from the celebrated Syrian architect and author Marwa Al-Sabouni and Sir Terry Farrell, whose essay (and Times column) argued for a new generation of mansion blocks. Read the column here and the essay collection here.

Disruptive behaviour damaging children’s learning

Persistent disruption is endemic in English schools, according to a new study by Dr Joanna Williams, Policy Exchange’s Head of Education. In one of the most extensive investigations ever conducted into pupil behaviour, polling found that 75% of teachers think that low level disruption occurs frequently or very frequently in their schools and that 72% of them know a colleague who has “left the teaching profession because of bad behaviour”. The report, “It Just Grinds You Down”, was welcomed by Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, the Education Secretary, and media coverage included in the Guardian, Telegraph and Sun.

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

Mark Carney praises “highly influential” Policy Exchange

“Policy Exchange is… multidisciplinary, highly influential, a productive force in the heart of Westminster and our political system,” said Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, at a Policy Exchange event with Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist’s Bagehot columnist, to launch their new book, Capitalism in America.

Mr Carney added: “It’s at events like this where radical thoughts challenge orthodoxy and a culture of cross-disciplinary thinking fosters the creation of new ideas.”

Policy Exchange wins prize as best UK think on Energy and Environment issues

At the prestigious annual Prospect Think Tank of the Year Awards, Policy Exchange has won best UK think tank in the Energy and Environment category. The unit’s research has ranged from the role of future nuclear modular reactors to cleaning up vehicle emissions in Britain’s cities. The judges recognised that our work paid “particular attention to the economic drivers behind environmental policy”. The same week as winning this award, the Unit published a major new report setting how the UK can reduce carbon emissions and make UK heavy industry more competitive through an economy-wide carbon tax. The work and convening power of Policy Exchange’s Britain in the World unit was also recognised at the awards, with the visit by US Defense Secretary James Mattis thought particularly notable.

Fuelling the Future

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Scotland and North East England offer the best opportunities for successful hydrogen production hubs, while investment in cost-effective hydrogen production technologies – such as electrolysis – would open up export opportunities and address both the Industrial and Clean Growth strategies, according to the new report from Policy Exchange’s award-winning energy team, with a Foreword from the first elected Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen.

Where is the line between extremism and terrorism?

Writing for the Evening Standard, Policy Exchange’s Co-Head of Security and Extremism Hannah Stuart challenges suggestions by new terrorism watchdog Max Hill QC that IS fighters returning from Syria are “naive” and should be “reintegrated”. Are they really “disillusioned”, she asks — or, as the caliphate crumbles, are these IS fighters merely running out of options?” Stuart argues that we have the legal armoury we need to deal these fighters, but that we need to use it more effectively. She also warns Max Hill QC against meeting Islamist groups who crave the legitimacy such meetings bestow.

David Anderson QC endorses Policy Exchange report on countering online extremism

The former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation David Anderson Q.C. endorsed Policy Exchange’s recent report on online extremism, ‘The New Netwar’, whilst speaking alongside the Home Secretary Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP. During a Spectator and Sky fringe event on freedom and security in the age of the internet at Conservative Party Conference, Anderson cited our findings on Islamic States’s online strategy and suggested that the Home Secretary consider our recommendation that Ofcom take an independent regulatory role towards tech companies and extremist content online.

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