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 Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Home Secretary 4:19 pm, 21st June 2005

As I have already said, I am prepared to consider amendments and other proposals to do just that, but I emphasise yet again that robust argument about such issues is an essential part of our society and should be promoted. Indeed, when I was Secretary of State for Education and Skills I was involved in the development of the non-statutory framework for religious education in schools, which is predicated precisely on children at school being able to discuss frankly the strengths and weaknesses of particular religions. By the way, all the main religions in the country signed up to that as the right approach. We want more debate about those things, not less, and the Bill will make that more rather than less likely.