Last week’s terrorist attacks on mosques in New Zealand killed 50 people and wounded a further 50 people. I am sure the whole House will join me in expressing our most sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones as well as our solidarity with the people of New Zealand as they come to terms with this and legislate to prevent such incidents from happening again. We have also seen this morning that a terrorist attack took place in the Netherlands, and we offer our sincere condolences to the three people who died during it.
In Lewisham, we have five mosques; two of them are in my constituency, and I have been contacted about the very real concern. This type of racial hatred and violence, whether in the UK or elsewhere in the world, must not be tolerated. It brings with it such immense fear, worry and anxiety for our Muslim communities, for families, children and young people. This should not be happening to people in this country or other countries; this should not be how people live, and the Government need to demonstrate that everything is being considered and done to keep people safe from harm and to promote respect and acceptance of difference and others. Will the Minster therefore state how his Department will deal with social media offences, including the removal of extreme content, and protect free speech, while developing an efficient strategy to tackle hate speech online? Also will he confirm he will be increasing his commitment to financing mosque security?