Schedule 26 — Hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 8:45 pm on 6th May 2008.

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Photo of Ann Widdecombe Ann Widdecombe Conservative, Maidstone and The Weald 8:45 pm, 6th May 2008

I believe that they would be useable if the will to use them existed. "Jerry Springer: The Opera" could and should have been prosecuted because it was so extreme. The will to use those laws needs to be there. We are led in a whole number of ways by the notion of what we believe we should prosecute. There was and is insufficient will to prosecute blasphemy—it is not a fault of the law—just as there is insufficient will to prosecute practitioners of late abortions, even when they clearly fall outside the law. Somehow it is felt that we should not pursue that matter. The Minister will know that there is an enormous lack of will to ensure that the Hunting Act 2004 is enforced— [ Interruption. ] I thought that that was going to get more of a reaction. We should distinguish between what is useable and what is used: they are different concepts. I advocate that we keep the blasphemy laws because they could be used, and they would be a final safeguard in the current situation where Christians are being unfairly picked on.