The minute’s silence before David Cameron’s statement to the House gave proceedings in the Commons this afternoon a particularly sombre air. When Cameron spoke at the despatch box, he announced a national minute’s silence at noon on Friday to remember those killed in Tunisia. He also said that there was, as yet, no evidence that Friday’s attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait were coordinated. He did, however, confirm that an emergency exercise drill on how to deal with a terrorist attack will take place in London in the next few days.
In terms of action overseas, Cameron reiterated that if there was an imminent threat to UK national security he would act — this is code for saying that, in these circumstances, he would order military action without coming to the House of Commons first. Domestically, Cameron repeated his new line that the country needs to be ‘more intolerant of intolerance’. I understand that this this will be one of the major themes of the speech Cameron is planning to give on extremism next month. As one of those involved in the discussion about this speech told me at the weekend, the view is that ‘you have to tackle the anti-Western rhetoric that makes people think Islamic State is the future’.