Prevent leaflet suggests conspiracy theories over Princess Diana’s death are legitimate 

Government’s anti-terror programme Prevent gives school governors training leaflet suggesting conspiracy theories over Princess Diana’s death are legitimate

  • ‘The Conspiracy Chart’ groups conspiracies into five different categories
  • Included under the title ‘We have questions’ were Diana’s death in car crash 
  • The chart suggested there legitimate questions to be asked about her death
  • The Home Office said the graphic was not part of its sanctioned training 

The government’s flagship anti-extremism programme Prevent shows school governors material suggesting conspiracies over Princess Diana‘s death raise legitimate questions. 

A graph entitled The Conspiracy Chart groups conspiracies into different categories based on how believable or pernicious they are. 

Included under the title ‘We have questions’ were Diana’s death in a car crash, JFK’s assassination, the death of Marilyn Monroe and the statement ‘[Jeffrey] Epstein didn’t kill himself’. 

The chart suggested there legitimate questions to be asked about these deaths, with the next section listed ‘Unequivocally false but mostly harmless’. 

The Home Office said the graphic was not part of its sanctioned training and was used by a ‘freelancing’ trainer. It is not clear in what context the graphic appeared and there is no suggestion there was a discussion about Diana during the training itself.

A graph entitled The Conspiracy Chart groups conspiracies into different categories based on how believable or pernicious they are

A graph entitled The Conspiracy Chart groups conspiracies into different categories based on how believable or pernicious they are

This group contained statements including ‘Greta Thunberg is a time traveller’, ‘Prince Charles a vampire [sic]’ and ‘Elvis lives’. 

The next group, entitled ‘Dangerous to yourself and others’, included ‘Finland doesn’t exist’, ‘anti-vaxxers’ and ‘anti-maskers’. 

The most dangerous conspiracy theories included QAnon, ‘deep state’, Holocaust denial and the idea that Bill Gates is attempting to inject microchips is attempting to microchip humanity. 

The graphic, produced by disinformation researcher Abbie Richards, was shown at a training session to help school governors work out which comments should be referred to Prevent, The Times reported. 

A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘The Prevent programme continues to play a crucial role in stopping people from being drawn into extremist views and terrorism. The chief threat to the UK comes from Islamist and Extreme Right Wing terrorism, this fact is reflected extensively in official training materials.

‘We cannot comment on specific graphics used during training sessions without the full and necessary context.’ 

The graphic was revealed on Twitter by Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s former chief of staff, who said it proved Prevent’s priorities were skewed towards right-wing extremism rather it’s much more deadly Islamist equivalent.

Included under the title 'We have questions' were Diana's death in a car crash

Included under the title ‘We have questions’ were Diana’s death in a car crash

A review of the programme is currently underway by former Charity Commission chair William Shawcross.

It will find there has been a ‘double standard when dealing with extreme Right-wing and Islamism’, according to leaked draft extracts. 

There were more referrals to Prevent relating to far-Right extremism than to Islamist radicalisation for the first time last year.

Six of the 11 most significant recent terror attacks were carried out by individuals who have gone through Prevent.

The scheme works by local council-appointed Prevent coordinators taking referrals from public servants like teachers and social workers, with each individual of concern categorised by their ideology.

Less serious cases are dealt with by councils, who can offer services like mentoring or parenting support, while the more serious ones go to the Channel phase, where a panel of local officials, including police, will recommend the next steps.

The MP Sir David Amess’s killer Ali Harbi Ali – who was sentenced last month to a whole life order – had been referred to the programme in 2014 but a year later it was concluded he no longer posed a threat. 

Mr Timothy tweeted: ‘A friend attended Prevent training today and was given this. Ignoring the ‘we have questions’ about the death of Diana and other weirdness, where is the focus? 

‘2/3 of jailed terrorists and 9 in 10 on MI5 watchlists are Islamists. The Shawcross review can’t come quickly enough.’

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