Security minister Tom Tugendhat has held the first meeting of the Defending Democracy Taskforce.
Under the chairmanship of Mr Tugendhat, the body’s primary focus will be to protect the UK from threats of foreign interference.
The Taskforce will work across government and with Parliament, the UK Intelligence Community, the devolved administrations, local authorities and the private sector on the full range of threats facing our democratic institutions.
These threats include foreign interference in our elections and electoral processes; disinformation; physical and cyber threats to our democratic institutions and those who represent them; foreign interference in public office, political parties and universities; and transnational repression in the UK.
The minister said: “State threats are growing and changing. My priority is, and has always been, to defend our country and the freedoms that guarantee our prosperity and sovereignty.
“We are bringing together experts from across Government, security and intelligence agencies to defend our democracy and our right to choose our own future.”
The National Security Bill, currently on its way to becoming law, will give the UK more tools to tackle these threats.
These include a suite of new measures to tackle the full range of modern-day state threats, from sabotage and spying to foreign interference and economic espionage.
The Taskforce will also bring together the many structures both inside and outside of Government which are aimed at protecting UK political parties, elected officials and core electoral infrastructure.
It will seek to build resilience across all levels of the UK’s democratic system, including vital security practice for all elected officials, ensuring that core electoral infrastructure is secure.
The Taskforce will seek to do this across all elements of the UK’s democratic system, working closely with the Devolved Administrations and Local Government Authorities.
The work of the Taskforce will report into the National Security Council (NSC). More details will be set out in the update of the Integrated