Orders of the Day — Racial and Religious Hatred Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:19 pm on 21st June 2005.

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Photo of Andy Reed Andy Reed Labour, Loughborough 4:19 pm, 21st June 2005

My right hon. Friend is right to say that many people have grave concerns about the Bill. I am a Christian, and I know that many people in the Christian lobby are very concerned about how far we are able to describe hatred. I support the Bill, and I am disappointed that many Christian organisations have stirred up so much misunderstanding. Will my right hon. Friend make sure that the element of hatred is clearly defined when the Bill is considered in Committee? That will reassure people with genuine concerns, as the Bill must be tightly drawn to ensure that people retain total freedom of speech in respect of these matters. In addition, I assure him that I do not want to have anything to do with people who are trying to defend the right to incite hatred.