This morning, the Local Government Chronicle published an article titled "Tower Hamlets counters anti-terror cash claim". It is important to make it clear that the council don't appear to have contested any of the claims in our report. Here is their statement:
"A council spokeswoman said the foundation had been contracted to run two £19,000 schemes under the government’s Preventing Violent Extremism pathfinder fund.
The first went ahead but the agreement with the foundation was ended when it was unwilling to cancel a debate in the second scheme, about which the council had unspecified concerns.
The spokeswoman said: “£15,000 was paid for the completed Muslim Debating Society work, with the £4,000 difference reflecting the cost of the debate which the council would not support."
So, they initially allocated £38,000 in 2007/08 and £4,000 was withdrawn, just like we said when we released the report (PDF). Would anyone have thought that was the case listening to the Cohesion Minister's statement that:
“We are aware that Tower Hamlets council terminated the funding agreement they had in place with Cordoba Foundation for 2007-08.”