SAJID JAVID will warn British jihadis fighting in Syria to leave the region – or face up to ten years in jail.
The Home Secretary will tell security officials he is preparing to trigger new powers to effectively ‘ban’ UK nationals from Idlib in the north-west of the war-torn country.
He plans to label the region a ‘designated area’ under new counter-terror and border security rules designed to give the Government greater muscle to prosecute extremists and jihadi fighters.
It would mark the first time such a power has ever been used.
Under the NEW legislation Brits without a valid reason to be in a designated area will have a month to get out – or face a criminal prosecution.
Mr Javid’s move will come in a central London speech that will double as a leadership pitch as the Home Secretary bids to make up ground on frontrunner Boris Johnson.
Mr Javid said: “I’ve asked my officials to work closely with the police and intelligence agencies to urgently review the case for exercising this power in relation to Syria, with a particular focus on Idlib and the North-East.
“So anyone who is in these areas without a legitimate reason should be on notice.”
The counter-terror pledge follows concern in Government at the lack of powers to prosecute those foreign fighters who have returned home from Iraq and Syria because of a lack of evidence.
The NEW legislation came into force in April and was immediately dubbed ‘Shamima’s Law’ after jihadi bride Shamima Begum.
Mr Javid is also expected to unveil new pledges on supporting the police – and tackling the worrying rise in serious violence.
And he will insist the UK will remain at the centre of international efforts to combat terrorism despite Brexit.
HOME SECRETARY'S NEW POWERS
He will say: “More than any other country on Earth, the UK has a coherent, connected approach to intelligence and security and when threats appear, the world still turns to the UK for leadership, support and action.”
Leadership rival Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will step up his own campaign by announcing a £70million campaign to save the lives of the poorest patients around the world.
Speaking in the margins of the World Health Assembly, he will back a range of health initiatives to improve the lives of up to 150million people across 8 emerging economies.
Some 17 Tories are considering a run for Theresa May’s job.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay refused four times to rule himself out.
But Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood became one of the rare Tory Ministers to say he would not be running. He said: “I have neither the rank nor the experience.”
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