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Offence of Sending Letters etc. with Intent to Cause Distress or Anxiety

Part of Orders of the Day — Malicious Communications Bill – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 8th July 1988.

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Photo of Mr Christopher Butler Mr Christopher Butler , Warrington South 10:30 am, 8th July 1988

The hon. Gentleman's point is probably dealt with by the libel laws. I have received such mail. I did not understand it and, to be quite frank, I thought that it was from somebody who was a little deranged. Many hon. Members present will have received hate mail. I suspect that the right hon. Member for Islwyn (Mr. Kinnock) also receives hate mail. It is a fact of public life. The right hon. Member for Islwyn is a nice chap, after all. He is a Welshman, so he must be a nice chap. My right hon. Friend the Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Mr. Heath) also received a large amount of hate mail from old retired colonels. We in public life should not be too sensitive to such matters. They should be weighed up and judged in the courts.

When I stood in the Brecon and Radnor by-election, I received some hate mail by postcard. At the time, I wondered whether it came from the dirty tricks department of a certain party that I shall not mention. but the point about this—