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LGBT Hate Crime

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons on 23rd January 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Doughty Stephen Doughty Labour/Co-operative, Cardiff South and Penarth

What recent discussions she has had with the Home Secretary on reducing hate crime directed at the LGBT+ community.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

We are proud to be hosting our international conference on global LGBT rights in May, a key theme of which will be the safety of LGBT people around the world. Hate crime is completely unacceptable and has no place in British society. We are committed to tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime, and we are working with the Law Commission on a review of current hate crime legislation, which is due to report early next year.

Photo of Stephen Doughty Stephen Doughty Labour/Co-operative, Cardiff South and Penarth

The Minister will no doubt be aware of the serious rise in hate crimes against the LGBT+ community, and particularly the trans community. Hate crimes are up by 25% against the LGBT+ community and up by 37% against the trans community in the past year. Those are shocking rises, and it is not just due to the fivefold increase in reporting. They are shocking statistics. Does she agree that sex and relationships education in schools is crucial, as is responsible reporting, particularly on issues facing the trans community?

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

I do agree with the hon. Gentleman, and I am grateful to him for his question. Sadly, he is right about the increase in hate crime against LGBT people, and he is right that educating children at school so that we change the culture that may exist among some people is one of the many ways we can tackle this.

Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

This is my first time at the Dispatch Box this year, so may I congratulate you on your re-election, Mr Speaker, and say happy new year to all the staff in the House?

I thank the Minister for her response. Now that the general election is over, there seems to be no need to prolong the decision making any further. She should have had plenty of time to study carefully the consultation on the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and consider the Government’s response. Will she take this opportunity to update the House?

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for that. She knows how complex this area is. We are working carefully and methodically through the results of the consultation. We are clear that we want to protect trans adults’ rights and protect single-sex spaces for women. We do not want to rush into this; we want to get it right.