press release

The People’s Review of Prevent - A Historic First

London – In a historical first, we are launching a People’s Review of the Government’s Prevent programme(1) which places the people most impacted by the programme at the centre of the review. 

This is being launched by the community based NGO Prevent Watch(2) 

The review will provide an alternative to the Government’s own review led by Willam Shawcross which has been controversial.

The review of Prevent has been launched today to provide a platform for those who have felt the negative impact of the Prevent programme and for the 550 organisations and individuals who committed to a boycott(3) of the Shawcross-led review.

On the 9th of June the government’s call for evidence closed, Prevent Watch have organised a much-needed alternative to amplify the voices of those most impacted by Prevent on an individual, organisational or societal level.

Professor John  Holmwood will co-chair the review alongside Dr Layla Aitlhadj.

Professor  Holmwood was a key expert witness and analyst in the ‘Trojan Horse’ trials(4) and an author of a book documenting the misrepresentations and false accusations of Islamification involving Birmingham schools. 

Dr Aitlhadj, the Director and Senior Case Worker at Prevent Watch, which has provided support to nearly 600 complainants/cases about Prevent.

They will be supported by a panel of expert advisors from academia, legal and other sectors. 

The call for submissions is here:

The full statement and list of signatories who boycotted the review  can be viewed here: 

General information on the People’s Review of Prevent can be viewed here:

For further enquiries email at

Dr Layla Aitlhadj, Director of Prevent Watch and co-Chair of The People’s Review of Prevent said: 

“This is the first and historic community grassroots led review of the Prevent programme which placed the people most impacted by the prevent programme at the centre of this review.”

“This Government has a poor record of delivering independent meaningful reviews. The recent reviews on Race and Islamophobia have been a complete whitewash. The Shawcross-led review is expected to be the same.”

“Hundreds of organisations and individuals have recently pledged to boycott the Shawcross-led review(3) in a huge show of no confidence. This review is a much needed opportunity to hear the voices and from those who boycott the Shawcross-led review and people and families most impacted by the Prevent programme.”

“Under the advice of our expert panel and with my co-chair John Holmwood, we will be using this evidence, together with testimonies Prevent Watch has already gathered from almost 600 individuals, to produce a more legitimate review of Prevent.”  

Professor John Holmwood, Emeritus Professor at Nottingham University and co-Chair of the People’s review of Prevent, said: 

“I am honoured to have been appointed as a co-chairperson of this review. It is long overdue. The current Shawcross review has little credibility in the eyes of those who feel the true impact of Prevent in their homes, schools and workplaces.” 

“The People’s Review will provide a robust analysis of the impact of Prevent, by providing a forum for gathering over a decade’s worth of legitimate concerns that have thus far been raised and ignored in each previous review of Prevent – each review having only served to reinforce and expand Prevent’s harms.”

“We are presenting an opportunity for people and communities to be heard and their experiences to be documented. This is a programme which has had a far-reaching impact on individuals and communities, and is claimed to polarise Britain’s plural society.” 


Editor Notes:


  1. The Prevent Duty is a government programme that aims to support ‘vulnerable’ people from being ‘drawn into terrorism’.
  2. Prevent Watch is a community funded project focused on supporting people impacted by the Government Prevent Duty.
  3. Boycott Shawcross-led review: 
    1. Hundreds of Islamic groups boycott Prevent review over choice of chair:
    2.  Human rights groups to boycott government’s Prevent review:
  4. The Trojan Horse hoax was a key moment in the evolution of Prevent and provided the breeding ground for it to become legislation, forcing public sector employees including teachers to adopt the vague and troubling “extremism indicators” that feature in the Prevent guidance.