Online Hate Speech - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:37 am on 30th November 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department 11:37 am, 30th November 2017

My Lords, with the leave of the House, I shall now repeat in the form of a Statement the Answer delivered in the other place by my right honourable friend the Home Secretary. The Statement is as follows:

Britain First is an extremist organisation which seeks to divide communities through its use of hateful narratives which spread lies and stoke tensions. The deputy leader of Britain First is subject to a pending criminal trial, accused of religiously aggravated harassment over the alleged distribution of leaflets and the posting of online material. British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right, which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents—decency, tolerance and respect. We will stand with them in doing so. That is why we launched our counter-extremism strategy in 2015 and why we launched the hate crime action plan just last year.

This House should be clear that this Government will not tolerate any groups which spread hate by demonising those of other faiths or ethnicities, and which deliberately raise community fears and tensions. We have also been clear that President Donald Trump was wrong to retweet videos posted by the far-right group Britain First. But when we look at the wider picture of the relationship between the UK and America, then I know how valuable the friendship is between our two nations. As the Home Secretary, I can tell the House that the relationship between our countries—the unparalleled sharing of intelligence between our countries—is of vital importance. It has undoubtedly saved British lives. That is the bigger picture here and I urge people to remember that”.