Mayor of London launches £800,000 fund with Google.org to tackle extremism and hate

Charlie Spargo's picture

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, has today launched a fund alongside Google.org - the search giant's philanthropy arm - worth £800,000, to tackle hate crime and violent extremism.

Khan launched the programme at Google's offices with £400,000 investment from City Hall, match-funded by Google.org. The fund will be run in partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), and invested in local communities and grassroots groups.

It is understood that organisations at the local level are best placed to counter the spread of violence and radicalisation. They will have the opportunity to bid for grants up to £50,000.

Given that racist hate crime offences have risen by 56% in the last six years, homophobic and Islamophobic hate crime offences also doubling, with anti-Semitism also rising alongside hate crime against trans people, this fund hopes to stem the tide of intolerance. Khan has previously said all tech firms need to do more to ensure their platforms and tools are not used to promote hate and intolerance or fundraise for extremism.

Sadiq Khan said: “Extremism, intolerance and hate crime of any kind-has absolutely no place in our city and I have worked closely with the police and all communities across London as we battle against this scourge.

“Sadly, we have also too often seen extremism on our streets with the horrific terror attack in London Bridge in November last year – as well as homophobic, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic incidents. We know that leaving the EU will raise tensions and bring new challenges - that is why it is so vital we empower our communities to help deliver change now.

“Violent extremism is one of the biggest threats facing London and our country. We simply must do better at working together to safeguard the vulnerable and stop people from promoting these vile ideologies with such horrific consequences.”

Rowan Barnett, Head of Google.org, EMEA & APAC, said: “Keeping the online community safe is our top priority. As part of this commitment, Google.org supports solutions that fight hate and extremism at a local level which help foster positive change in the UK.

"We believe communities and grassroots programmes are an incredibly important part of the effort to encourage collaboration, cooperation, and sensitivity across London. We are pleased to support the Shared Endeavour Fund to tackle extremism and hate in our capital and look forward to working closely with the Mayor of London and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.”