THOSE who “vilify” Britain face being treated as extremists and referred for deradicalisation under new plans from Tory leadership hopeful Rishi Sunak.

The former chancellor intends to change the definition of extremism to allow people with an “extreme hatred of Britain” to be put through the Prevent programme.

Sunak’s campaign insisted the policy would not see people critical of UK Government policy referred for deradicalisation.

The leadership hopeful told The Telegraph: “There is no more important duty for a prime minister than keeping our country and our people safe. Whether redoubling our efforts to tackle Islamist extremism or rooting out those who are vocal in their hatred of our country, I will do whatever it takes to fulfil that duty.”

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Currently, Prevent defines extremism as “vocal or active” opposition to British values, which can include democracy, the law and tolerance for people with other religions or beliefs.

The strategy sees police work alongside local authorities to assess whether individuals pose an extremism or terrorism risk, then provide interventions and monitors those deemed to be of concern.

The programme has been criticised by the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and counter terrorism for its “de-facto criminalisation of children”, while a 2022 report by the People’s Review of Precent saw it described as “ineffective, disproportionate and discriminatory”.

But sources in Sunak’s campaign argue the extremism descriptiom should be widened to include “vilification of the UK” – adding that this would ensure “those with an extreme hatred of our country that leads them to pose a risk to national security” can be identified and sent through the programme.

Any “vilification” of Britain would need to appear in written form or speech in order to qualify for Prevent.

The policy plan has been met with concern since its announcement on Tuesday night, with SNP strategist Ross Colquhoun describing the proposals as “very Orwellian”.

Author Sathnam Sanghera suggested he could be among those targeted under the plans if Sunak becomes prime minister, due to his writings on the British Empire.

“Possibly not long now until historians and people like me get reported to Prevent for not glorifying British history. It's a beautiful twist that this would happen under an Asian PM. Well done everyone,” he said.

Vote Leave whistleblower Shamir Sanni responded with further criticism of Britain’s history.

“This tiny little island has contributed mostly violence & regression to most of the world. Perverted systems of democracies a thousand years old, desecrated indigenous practises and erased languages, pillaged land & resources,” he wrote. “Refer me, bitches.”

Journalist Oliver Bullough added: “Britain is a money-laundering kleptocracy-enabling disgrace and the government is shamefully complicit.

“Shall I send Prevent my address? Or does this only apply to ethnic minorities?”

The news comes as the leadership contest ballots were delayed due to cyber-hacking concerns – with the papers now due to be sent out by August 11.

Sunak will be hoping that more time will help him regain ground in the polls, which have seen competitor Liz Truss race ahead.

The National:

A YouGov poll puts Liz Truss well ahead of the former chancellor in support from party members, with her lead increasing to 34 points.

It shows that 60% of the party members polled between July 29 and August 2 say they intend to vote for the Foreign Secretary, up from 49% since the period July 20 to 21 when the rivals first made the cut for the final two.

Truss’s campaign was among those critical of Sunak’s Prevent policy, with a source telling The Telegraph: “Mostly it’s a restatement of government policy. The few new proposals are superficial and unfunded with a risk of letting serious terrorists slip through the net by creating arbitrary targets.”