Hate Crime Legislation: Law Commission Review

Home Department – in the House of Commons on 12th July 2021.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

All forms of hate crime are completely unacceptable and the UK has a robust legislative framework to respond to it. We are absolutely clear that the cowards who commit these hateful acts should feel the full force of the law. We will of course work with the Law Commission on its review of hate crime legislation.

Photo of Christine Jardine Christine Jardine Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Treasury)

I welcome the Secretary of State’s comments about the complete unacceptability of hate crimes. The dictionary defines misogyny as “dislike or contempt for”, or indeed, “prejudice against” women. Every year, tens of thousands of women in this country face emotional and physical violence, often prompted by exactly that sort of prejudice. Making racially and religiously motivated crimes aggravated offences has helped the police to tackle them, but the law does not provide the same protections against gender-based hate crimes, so does the Home Secretary agree that, if the Law Commission recommends improvements in those areas, they should be a matter of priority?

Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel The Secretary of State for the Home Department

First, let me acknowledge the points that the hon. Lady has made. She is absolutely right about hate crimes, misogyny and crimes against women in particular, and some of the most appalling and corrosive attitudes against women that we have seen across our society for too long. On the Law Commission report, we are waiting for its findings. I can give her and the House every assurance that we will work with the Law Commission. Alongside that important point, we will be publishing very soon—in the next few weeks, in fact—our strategy on violence against women and girls. I want to go on the record to emphasise that any form of violence, oppression, sexism or hatred against women and girls is thoroughly unacceptable and this Government are absolutely adamant in dealing with it.