THE Scottish Government has attacked David Cameron and Theresa May for not consulting with them over Westminster’s new counter-extremism strategy.

Launched yesterday morning, the Prime Minister said the plan was about fighting the “extremist narrative” and winning the “battle of ideas all over again”. Although careful to mention neo-Nazism, Islamophobia and anti-semitism, the strategy is clearly aimed at tackling Islamist extremism.

“In responding to this poisonous ideology, we face a choice. Do we close our eyes, put our kid gloves on and just hope that our values will somehow endure in the end? Or do we get out there and make the case for those values, defend them with all that we’ve got and resolve to win the battle of ideas all over again?” Cameron wrote in the strategy’s foreword.

The plan includes a review of the rules of British citizenship, including any “extremist views”. Parents of teenagers worried their children might travel abroad to join Daesh can apply to have their passports revoked. Although this has already been used on under-16s, it will now be extended to 16 and 17-year-olds.

There will be bans on radical preachers posting material on the internet and anyone with a conviction or civil order for terrorist or extremist activity will not be allowed to work with children and vulnerable people.

However, the Muslim Council of Britain warned that the strategy was “flawed” and drew a comparison with the House of Un-American Activities Committee’s flawed search for communists in 1940s and 50s Hollywood.

MCB general secretary Shuja Shafi: “Whether it is in mosques, education or charities, the strategy will reinforce perceptions that all aspects of Muslim life must undergo a ‘compliance’ test to prove our loyalty to this country. We cannot help but also detect the McCarthyist undertones in the proposal to create blacklists and exclude and ban people deemed to be extremist.”

The Scottish Government said it was “disappointing” it had not been consulted over the strategy, considering much of what was involved impacted directly on devolved powers.

A spokeswoman told The National it had seen no “specific evidence” to suggest the measures might be necessary or effective in Scotland.

She said: “It is disappointing that UK Ministers have not yet engaged Scottish Ministers in any substantive discussion on their plans for the counter-extremism strategy which deals with devolved matters.

“In particular they have not demonstrated that they understand the different community, legal and institutional context in Scotland, recognise the positive work that is already being taken forward in Scotland to build strong, inclusive and resilient communities, or set out any specific evidence for why these particular measures are required or likely to be effective in Scotland. Scottish Ministers will take the necessary time to consider how this strategy fits in with the wider Scottish context and with the relevant legislation and approaches already in place, which we believe best address the challenges faced by our communities.

“We remain committed to protecting the people of Scotland and keeping our communities safe and we continue to work towards creating inclusive, cohesive and resilient communities which rejects extremism in all its forms.

“Scottish Ministers will also continue to press for substantial and detailed engagement with the UK Government in order to determine how appropriate and proportionate this strategy may be for Scotland.”

The SNP’s Justice and Home Affairs spokeswoman at Westminster, Joanna Cherry QC MP, said: “We need to tackle extremism at its root cause and far more work needs to be done to engage at all levels and especially with the communities most affected by radicalisation.

“Any action from the UK Government will only ever be just one strand of what needs to be a very strong web of strategy used to counter the damaging ideology behind groups such as Daesh and therefore it is vital that everyone works together to eradicate extremism. It is disappointing that the UK Government has failed to conduct any meaningful consultation with the Scottish Government over these plans.”