Cage seeks legal advice after David Cameron called it 'extremist'

The Prime Minister referred to the advocacy group during a speech setting out the government's strategy for tackling extremism

Cage: seeking legal advice
Cage: seeking legal advice

The advocacy group Cage is seeking legal advice about whether the Prime Minister, David Cameron, defamed it earlier this week in a speech about extremism, saying he incorrectly labelled the group as an extremist organisation.

Cameron made the comments about Cage during a speech in Birmingham in which he set out the government’s strategy for tackling extremism over the next five years. The Prime Minister also referred to the National Union of Students’ alleged links to Cage.

Cameron said in his speech: "I want to say something to the National Union of Students. When you choose to ally yourselves with an organisation like Cage, which called Jihadi John a ‘beautiful young man’ and told people to ‘support the jihad’ in Iraq and Afghanistan, it really does, in my opinion, shame your organisation and your noble history of campaigning for justice."

Cage responded in a statement that Cameron’s reference to the group was "simply false".

"Cage has never supported terrorism in any way," it said. "Our work involves advocating for due process and adhering to the principle of the rule of law as a means of ending the war on terror."

The NUS said in a statement that the Prime Minister’s comments were "misleading" and that it would not work with Cage in any capacity.

Cage, which is not a charity, also said that its application for judicial review, made last month, would be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday. Cage applied last month for a review of the actions of the Charity Commission in obtaining an undertaking from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust never to fund the group again.

Permission for Cage to apply for judicial review was sought from the High Court in London last month after the JRCT said it had been subject to "intense regulatory pressure" to agree not to fund Cage again. At the hearing, the judge will hear arguments for and against granting the group permission to apply for a review.

Adnan Siddiqui, director of Cage, said in a statement: "The concerted efforts to demonise Cage are counter-productive and fit into a broader counter-terrorism strategy that is founded on a combative, securitised approach that will increase the chance of politically motivated violence, rather than counter it."

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