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Theresa May MP

Home Secretary

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Stories involving Theresa May

Cam seeks answers on May & Gove row

David Cameron has stepped into the row between Michael Gove and Theresa May over allegations of extremism in schools.

The Prime Minister has asked for a full account of the reported disagreement between the Education Secretary and Home Secretary, which threatened to overshadow today's Queen's Speech.

The pair have attempted to dampen the spat over the alleged Islamist takeover of schools in Birmingham by insisting that they are "working together" to fix the problem.

It follows the Home Secretary’s decision to write to her Cabinet colleague warning there needs to be “clear action to improve the quality of staffing and governance”, including a mandatory code of conduct, to stop extremism in schools.

The Home Secretary also raised reports that the Government had been warned of a problem four years ago: “Is it true that the Department for Education was warned in 2010? If so, why did nobody act?”

But the Times reports that the Education Secretary believes the Home Office has been too focused on violent extremism and failed to “drain the swamp” of other forms of radicalisation.

In a rare joint statement this morning, a spokesperson for Mr Gove and Ms May said: "The Department for Education and the Home Office take the problems in Birmingham schools and all issues relating to extremism very seriously.

"Michael Gove and Theresa May are working together to ensure we get to the bottom of what has happened in Birmingham and take the necessary steps to fix it."

A subsequent joint statement added: "There is no difference between the Education Secretary and the Home Secretary who are both working energetically together to tackle the challenge posed by any form of extremism."

The Prime Minister’s spokesman this morning refused to be drawn on whether David Cameron met with Mr Gove this morning, saying only that “he meets all his cabinet colleges very regularly”.

The spokesman also stressed that the Government was focused on resolving the problems in the schools, rather than the political row.

“The important thing here is getting to the bottom of the concerns that have been raised about schools in the Birmingham area. That is the focus and rightly so.”


Olympic troops reward plan

Olympics troops drafted in following the G4S Olympics security shortfall will be rewarded after the Games, the Defence Secretary has said.

Philip Hammond insisted the Olympics would be "safe and secure" despite the shortfall which has seen 3,500 extra troops drafted in at the last minute.

He also told Sky News today: "Nobody will be out of pocket as a result of having to change personal arrangements because of this additional deployment."

Mr Hammond would not commit to a £500-a-head payment, as has been promised to London bus drivers, but said ministers would "take advice from the senior leadership of the armed forces on how most appropriately to recognise the contribution that the armed forces are making".

Meanwhile, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged politicians and the media to "pull together" in the wake of the G4S episode.

Questioned about the fiasco on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Hunt said it was "completely normal" that some contractors on large projects do not meet their targets.

The pressure continues to mount on the Government over the issue as it has emerged that the Home Office received warnings about the ability of G4S to provide adequate security for the Olympics 10 months ago, fuelling criticism of Home Secretary Theresa May.

The Independent on Sunday reports that Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary passed a confidential report to the Home Office in September 2011. Meanwhile, ExCel, the Games' largest venue, said it has been raising concerns with Locog about G4S' abilities "for some time".

G4S chief executive, Nick Buckles, has apologised after 3,500 soldiers had to be drafted in to bolster guard levels for the Games. G4S has said it would see a loss on the contract of between £35m and £50m.

The company admitted in a statement today that it had found it "extremely challenging" to cope with increased demand for staff. It said the number had increased five-fold from the level originally set in December 2010.

Keith Vaz has revealed Ms May will give evidence before the Home Affairs Select Committee in September, but urged the British public to get behind the Olympics despite the scandals.

Labour has called on the Home Secretary to explain herself in the Commons on Monday. Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said Ms May should "show she is on top of the problem now" by answering to MPs.


New tests for immigrants

Home Secretary Theresa May is planning new measures for the UK citizenship test.

Immigrants will have to learn key historical facts and the first verse of the national anthem according to the new version of the Life in the UK handbook, which is to be published this autumn.

The Home Office has said tests are needed that show people have "a grounding in our history."

The Sunday Times says immigrants will be told "historically the UK is a Christian country".


May outlaws extremist groups

The Home Secretary plans to ban two extremist groups from operating in the UK and to make supporting them a criminal offence.

Theresa May is to issue an order which, if passed, will outlaw both UK-based Minbar Ansar Deen, which is believed to promote terrorism through its online forum, and Nigeria-based Boko Haram, which seeks to establish Islamic law in Nigeria.

Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary can proscribe any organisation if it is believed to be involved in terrorism. If Ms May’s order is passed, the organisations will be banned from operating in the UK from midnight on 8 July.


May struggling for police chief candidates

The Home Secretary has asked the Treasury to fund an advertising campaign encouraging better candidates to stand for election as police and crime commissioners.

Ministers' hopes that significant non-political figures would put themselves forward for election have not come to pass, and The Independent reports a Whitehall source as saying "The policy is in disarray. There is a chance it will be a damp squib."


MoD police fill border gaps

A leaked memo shows Ministry of Defence police officers have been used to man passport desks and alleviate pressure on immigration at UK airports.

The email, written by a Border Force official, says that attempts to have staff cover at Heathrow and other airports “were pretty shambolic and did not work”.

Home Secretary Theresa May also faces claims that she will prompt "immigration chaos" by announcing plans to restrict numbers of Greek migrants long before they are implemented. The chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, voiced his concerns about mass Greek immigration yesterday.