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Freedom of Expression (Religious Satire)

Volume 618: debated on Monday 5 December 2016

12. What legal protections are in place to protect people’s freedom of expression with regard to religious satire. (907626)

Freedom of speech and religion are core values that make our country great. They are, indeed, protected in law. What is or is not a joke, or what constitutes satire, is, I believe, in the eye or ear of the beholder and is not, perhaps, for Government to opine on.

Why did the Home Secretary and her Ministers not give voice to those principles during the manhunt and vilification of the gymnast Louis Smith?

One of the first actions that I took when I came to office in July was to publish a hate crime action plan, to which I refer my hon. Friend. It enables anybody who is the victim of any sort of hate crime, which I think is what he is referring to, to have the confidence to report what is going on and to make sure that the police take action so that they do not feel singled out and abused.