Former integration tsar Dame Louise Casey has warned a New Zealand-style atrocity could occur in the UK.

Dame Louise said Britain needed to "wake up" as extremism had not been tackled sufficiently.

She also strongly criticised the "appalling behaviour of far too many politicians" and the "mood music" they were creating.

Dame Louise was speaking in the wake of the terrorist attack on Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, which left 50 people dead.

Referring to whether a similar incident could happen in Britain, Dame Louise told the BBC: "Yes it could. The counter-terrorism police every single day are foiling plots. Foiling individuals that are seeking to do that type of menace and massacre."

Dame Louise said the UK needed to do more to combat extremism.

She said: "Part of my frustration is that I don't think we have sufficiently woken up to the fact we haven't tackled extremism.

"Be that the rise of the far right here in the United Kingdom or indeed the continued Islamic extremism.

"That these two extremes feed off each other and so what you have got is this constant connection between Muslims being blamed for all forms of terrorism by the far right, and the far right being blamed for basically being in a country that says we hate anybody that isn't us - i.e. white British.

"And those two things feed off each other."

Dame Louise said what was needed was a strategy that goes across society dealing with communities facing abject poverty and lack of hope.

She also took a swipe at some mainstream politicians.

Dame Louise said: "And then I guess I put on top of that, frankly the appalling behaviour of far too many political people who are in public life who ... anti-Semitism in the Labour Party - jaw-dropping. Islamophobia in the Tory party - jaw-dropping."

She branded as "appalling" comments in which former foreign secretary Boris Johnson claimed millions of pounds of police funding is being "spaffed up the wall" investigating historic child abuse allegations.

Dame Louise said: "On top of that, politicians coming out like Boris Johnson did last week and literally commenting on historic child sex abuse as saying it was essentially wasting - he used a very, very foul word that I had to look up it's that posh - but essentially it's a wasted ejaculation.

"Well, I can tell you I was just utterly appalled.

"So, if we are worried about kids growing up in this country being drawn into extremism then our politicians need to start by behaving with greater kindness and compassion."

Asked if she was blaming middle ground politicians for what is happening on the extremes, Dame Louise said: "No. You cannot blame them for these extraordinary acts of terrorism.

"But what I am saying is that the mood music that they put out there is definitely the music going on in the background. Hate breeds hate."

Dame Louise added: "When Brexit is done we need a healing strategy for the nation.

"And it's about language. It's about jobs. It's about politicians not being so badly behaved towards each other and with each other."