Tunisia attack shows need for stronger terror powers - May

Posted On: 
28th June 2015

The “appalling” terrorist attack in Tunisia shows there is a need to strengthen the UK’s counter-terrorism capabilities, Theresa May has said.

Holiday goers experienced horror on Friday when a Tunisian student affiliated with terrorist group Islamic State carried out a gun attack on a beach near Sousse.

The Foreign Office confirmed at least 15 Britons have died following the “most significant terrorist attack on British people” since the 7/7 bombings.

Appearing on the Andrew Marr show, the Home Secretary denounced the “absolutely appalling” events and defended the Government's counter-extremism record.

She said that Britain had thwarted nearly 40 terrorist plots since the London bombings in July 2005.

“A number of plots have been stopped...the threat has become more diverse over time, it has changed over time, that's why it's important for us to sustain the counter-terrorism capabilities,” she told the programme.

The Government will be bringing forward a wider counter-extremism strategy to tackle extremism focussing on promoting "positive values", Ms May confirmed.

Ms May also said she will chair a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee later today in response to the attacks, before reiterating the Foreign Office’s warning that the Government expects the British death toll to rise.

So far 38 people have been confirmed dead, with Belgian, German, French and Tunisian nationals among the deceased.

David Cameron condemned the “savage terrorist attacks” seen on Friday in Tunisia, Kuwait, France and the Syrian town of Kobane. 

Foreign Office staff and UK police are in Tunisia to assist the country's authorities with their investigations.