Schedule 26 — Hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 8:30 pm on 6th May 2008.

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Photo of David Howarth David Howarth Shadow Solicitor General, Ministry of Justice 8:30 pm, 6th May 2008

Not at all, but the signals are to young people in our own cities. One of the things that the former Prime Minister often talked about, on which people did not take him seriously—perhaps they should not have taken him seriously on other matters, but on this they should have taken him seriously—is the idea that we are in an ideological battle with certain ideas for the hearts and minds of young people in our own cities.

If there are people who are arguing for a new caliphate, for the idea of a religiously based state, who argue for a complete mixture of politics and religion in Church and state, it does us harm in arguing for our position in that ideological battle that we still vestigially maintain that sort of arrangement in our own constitution. It is not about what happens in other countries; it is about what happens here, in our own cities.

That is the first argument—the "Britain is a Christian country" argument, which I as a Liberal have always believed does not lead to the idea of establishing particular Church views in our constitution.