New Clause 11 — Guidance on offences that involve hatred on grounds of sexual orientation

Part of Pension Credit and Personal Expense Allowance (Duty of Consultation and Review) – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 24th March 2009.

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Photo of David Howarth David Howarth Shadow Secretary of State for Justice 4:45 pm, 24th March 2009

I am very glad that my hon. Friend has brought me back to his proposal to remove the word "insulting" from section 5 of the 1986 Act, because that would be a very important reform and I hope that the Government will take it up at some point.

Finally, I wish to speak to new clause 37, which is in my name and that of my hon. Friend. It is an attempt to ensure that a particularly despicable form of homophobic intimidation comes within the meaning of "threatening" in the Act. That is the disgusting technique employed by certain political groups including the British National party, alleging that gay people have a propensity to be paedophiles and commit offences against children. That particular form of intimidation is not just unpleasant but literally life-threatening. I therefore hope that the Government will accept new clause 37 as well as new clause 11.

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