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Hate Crime: Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities

Volume 709: debated on Monday 28 February 2022

The Government take all forms of hate crime seriously and we will shortly publish a new strategy setting out how we intend to tackle those abhorrent crimes. I assure the hon. Lady that we have sought views from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

Following Ministers’ welcome criticism of Jimmy Carr’s abhorrent joke celebrating the genocide of Roma and Sinti people, the Traveller Movement said that if the Government were serious about reducing discrimination against GRT communities, they would scrap the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. Does the Minister accept that it is hypocritical for Ministers to condemn racism from others while pushing through a Bill that the Government’s own impact assessment confirms will discriminate against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people?

I am afraid the hon. Lady is completely wrong about the Bill. It is a vital Bill to keep the public safe and protect them from sex offenders, violent rapists and other criminals. The comments she refers to were horrible, and it is clearly unacceptable to mock victims of genocide. We are clear that all forms of hate speech are unacceptable.