Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:20 am on 9th July 2020.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:20 am, 9th July 2020

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Freedom of speech is fundamental to how our society operates. Democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech and the rights of property are the four pillars on which our constitution is built—a constitution that has thrived through the centuries. If we take away freedom of speech, we undermine all the other pillars that have supported our constitution.

It is a requirement in state-funded schools to teach a broad and balanced curriculum that promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at schools, and that must be done in a way that encourages freedom of speech. The key to that is that we all have to accept the right of people to express views not only that we do not like but that, on occasions, we even find offensive. If we accept only views that we like and find unchallenging, there is no freedom of speech.