Freedom of Speech: Hate Crime - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:16 pm on 6th December 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 3:16 pm, 6th December 2017

I thank my noble friend for his series of questions. The CPS legal guidance and public statements on all strands of hate crimes were revised and published in August 2017. However, the flagging definition of hate crime was not changed—indeed, it has been the same since 2007. Both the police and the CPS use this definition to flag potential hate crime. He also mentioned the attrition of freedom of speech. I am afraid once again to disappoint my noble friend, but I am not sure I can agree with him. I am an avid user of Twitter and think we could all agree that there is freedom of speech on a daily basis, and perhaps increased vociferousness, which I think is a good thing.