Taxpayers' Alliance slams UK Govt's wasteful cost on tackling violent extremism

      The TaxPayers' Alliance has criticised the lack of accountability in the use of hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money for tackling violent extremism. This includes several "dubious" projects, including a 200,000-pound grant for the BBC. Campaigners have said as figures showed the Foreign Office gave out more than £10 million in 2008/09 as part of the "Prevent" strand of the Government's counter-terrorism strategy. It represented 74 percent of the £14.2 million of grants given out by the Foreign Office under the Contest strategy. According to the Daily Express, figures showed the Foreign Office grants included £205,300 to the BBC for an Afghan Women's Hour project for the BBC World Service which looked at gender issues and women's rights. A total of £127,740 went to the Foreign Office's counter-terrorism department for a programme aimed at promoting moderate Islam, more than £100,000 went to the Al-Azhar University in Egypt for a study exchange and university programme, and more than £10,000 to the private Bahcesehir University in Turkey for an "intercultural dialogue project" on extremist messages. Matthew Sinclair, research director of the TaxPayers' Alliance , said: "Taxpayers' money has been given to dubious projects and there is little accountability for this spend. The scheme is unpopular with all community groups and has poor results - far too much money has been spent on what is no more than an expensive social experiment. "The Government now needs to scrap the entire Prevent strategy and focus on our police and intelligence services to combat violent extremism," he added.

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