Home Office will continue sidelining MCB

Martin Bright and John Kampfner interview Jacqui Smith:

“Smith is a fierce advocate of Brown’s ‘hearts and minds’ approach to tackling the radicalisation of young Muslims. She also believes that Muslim communities have not been best served by their leaders. She backs moves, put in place by Ruth Kelly when she was communities secretary, to broaden the kinds of groups with which the government engages and cut out, for example, the Muslim Council of Britain. ‘We’ve got to make serious attempts to go beyond those who have previously been seen as leaders of the community. She was absolutely right to do that. We have seen, in the immediate aftermath of the Glasgow and London bombings, that the response from leaders of the community was better because of the action previously taken’.”

New Statesman, 2 August 2007