FORMER Barrow MP Lord Walney will be instrumental in tackling terrorism as levels of concerning activity rises.

The coronavirus pandemic has found itself coinciding with an increase in activity and prominence amongst far-right, far-left and other political groups.

Lord Walney will spend his time examining the points at which the activities of such groups can cross into criminality and disruption to people’s lives.

He will also draw lessons for the UK from the action taken by the countries international partners.

Prevent is the Government’s strategy to stop people from supporting terrorists, or becoming one. Prevent works alongside individuals and communities using voluntary early intervention to encourage people to challenge extremist and terrorist ideology and behaviour.

The independent review of Prevent will continue to provide the required scrutiny of the UK’s approach to countering violent extremism through supporting those vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism and will provide vital recommendations for how it may be improved.

Independent adviser on political violence and disruption, Lord Walney, said: "I am really pleased to be asked to advise the government on how groups from across the political spectrum are seeking to exploit the fear and uncertainty of this period in the UK and elsewhere.

"As populations across the world adapt to restrictions and seek to return to normality, the UK government rightly wants to understand and guard against those who may seek to use this period of disruption to twist legitimate protest and debate into criminality and illegitimate disruption to people’s lives."

Taking to social media, Lord Walney tweeted: "Pleased to take up this new role. I will examine how fringe groups are using the pandemic to exploit fears and produce recommendations on the problem of activists on far right and far left hijacking legitimate causes with violence and law breaking."

Following the conclusion of Lord Walney’s review, his findings and recommendations will be presented to the Prime Minister and to the Home Secretary for publication subject to their approval.