International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:54 pm on 16th May 2019.

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Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Labour, Wallasey 3:54 pm, 16th May 2019

I could not agree more. I will refer to social media briefly later, but I think we need to contemplate far more when considering how to tackle the threat.

In the aftermath of the EU referendum in the UK, there was a spike in all sorts of hate crime. In the three months after the vote to leave, such crimes against LGBTQI people rose by a massive 147%. There is a sense that that type of bigotry has somehow now been normalised, and the LGBTQI community is suffering because of it. So are others—women, religious minorities, black and ethnic minorities, the disabled. We now have candidates standing in the EU elections across Europe who openly advocate removing civil rights from sections of the population or scapegoating immigrants; others are unapologetic about issuing on social media rape threats against serving politicians. Much of the anger and hostility is being spread by social media, as Justine Greening pointed out.

We have much to do to counter those disturbing trends if we are to be able to celebrate our progress on future IDAHO days. We must not fail in that crucial task.