Terror raid on Islamic ‘school’ in Shadwell as Mayor rejects Theresa May’s ‘extremism’ claim
PUBLISHED: 08:36 09 October 2014 | UPDATED: 09:06 09 October 2014
An off-the-books Islamic school has been raided by counter-terrorism police amid a row over extremism in Tower Hamlets.
Officers swooped on Siddeeq Academy in Hessen Street, Shadwell, an unlicensed tuition centre, as part of a string of counter-terrorism raids across London.
Tower Hamlets Council wrote to the Department for Education in July over concerns the centre was trying to operate as a school without planning permission and that “pupils may be subjected to an inappropriate curriculum”.
It also warned an apparent manager at the centre had a past conviction for terrorism-related offences, the council said in a statement.
A DfE spokesman said it could not comment while the police investigation into Siddeeq Academy was ongoing.
The raid comes amid a row between the Home Office and the council over remarks by Home Secretary Theresa May linking the Tower Hamlets Mayor to Islamic extremism in schools.
In her Conservative Party conference speech last Tuesday, referring to the alleged Trojan Horse plot in Birmingham schools, Mrs May said: “It is not just a problem in Birmingham. Following divisive community politics and allegations of the mismanagement of public funds in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Eric Pickles has sent inspectors to investigate Lutfur Rahman, the elected Mayor of the borough.”
Mayor Rahman angrily rejected the claim at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, calling the remarks “inaccurate and ill-informed”.
He added: “To suggest through rumour-mongering that Tower Hamlets’ schools are at risk of influence from extreme views or behaviour is false and deeply irresponsible.”
The Home Office declined to clarify Mrs May’s remarks.