Schedule 26 — Hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 7:45 pm on 6th May 2008.

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Photo of Edward Garnier Edward Garnier Shadow Minister (Justice) 7:45 pm, 6th May 2008

I am speaking in a purely personal capacity, as this is a matter entirely for the consciences of my hon. Friends. On this side of the Chamber—at least, for hon. Members in the bit directly behind this Dispatch Box—this is a matter for a free vote. What happens in other parts of the Chamber I cannot say.

It might be thought strange for someone who has spent the past 35 years practising at the libel Bar to support the abolition of the common law offence of blasphemy and blasphemous libel, but that is what I intend to do.