Results 1–20 of 801 for speaker:Adam Tomkins

Scottish Parliament: Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill (17 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: This is the last speech that I shall make to the chamber, so I hope that the Presiding Officer will forgive me if I offer a few remarks not only on the bill that we are about to pass but on one or two broader matters. The Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill is an important measure that adds to Scotland’s cutting-edge laws on domestic abuse. When, once again, violence against women...

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill (11 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: I thank Liam McArthur, John Finnie and Rona Mackay for their kind and generous remarks. The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill is a much-changed piece of legislation compared with the bill that we first debated in the chamber last September. On that occasion, my Conservative colleagues sought to have part 2—the provisions that concern the stirring-up offences—removed from the...

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (10 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: It has been clear for months that, notwithstanding all the criticisms that have been made about the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, a majority of MSPs support the proposed legislation, it will pass at stage 3 tonight and it will be enacted into law. In all my involvement with the bill, I have sought to improve it. Of course, I could have spent the past few months simply trying to...

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (10 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: I fear that the cabinet secretary, no doubt inadvertently, is mischaracterising the nature of amendment 5. It is perfectly clear from the wording of the amendment that if anybody invites members of the public who are not members of their family into their home for a meeting about anything, that is not a wholly private event and is an event with a public element. The cabinet secretary says...

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (10 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: We come now to the core issue that the bill confronts. I fear that, despite what you have just said, Presiding Officer, my remarks might take some time. However, I hope that members will feel that they can speak freely about the issue. The core issue is how to legislate effectively against hate crime while at the same time protecting freedom of speech. That is a dilemma on the horns of which...

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (10 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: I certainly accept that some women have forcefully expressed that view on social media and elsewhere, and I will go on to address it directly in my remarks. Essential though that change of reasonableness is, and welcome as it is, even that does not go far enough to ensure that the bill can operate in a way that fully respects freedom of speech. There has been much to-ing and fro-ing about how...

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (10 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: Those questions go to the heart of the issue and I very much welcome the fact that we are having the debate here today. I want to address those questions. If you want to argue—or even to campaign robustly—for women’s sex-based rights, or to argue that sex is immutable or is binary, you are not committing a hate crime, even if someone else is offended, shocked or disturbed by what you...

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (10 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: That is exactly the position of the Scottish Conservatives—I welcome Mr Findlay aboard. That would be the effect of amendment 6, which was moved by my friend and colleague Liam Kerr and was debated in the previous group. Amendments 1 to 3 are three different ways of achieving the same policy ambition. My preference is for the first formulation, which provides that when considering whether...

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (10 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: I completely agree, which is exactly why I am moving my amendment. Relying on the idea of a reasonable person is essential, but it is not enough. In addition to that, we need to specify in the bill exactly what we mean. What we mean is that, just because someone is offended by what I have to say with regard to transgender identity or any of the other protected characteristics, that does not...

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (10 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: I will try, Presiding Officer, but this is a helluva debate to try to respond to and to wind up. It has been an extraordinary and outstanding debate. As everybody knows, I am shortly to leave the Parliament and am not seeking re-election. I have had my criticisms of things that have been going on in this place in the past few weeks and I have no doubt expressed myself sometimes in a manner...

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (10 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: Yes, I think that it is, but that is not my amendment. However, I have to say that, as I leave the Parliament, I am troubled that members of the Parliament are themselves troubled by amendments that seem to me to be innocent, such as Johann Lamont’s amendments. To answer Mr Mason’s question, I do not think that we need to go there if we accept amendment 11, in Humza Yousaf’s name, and...

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (10 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: What is in the amendment is hateful in that member’s subjective opinion, but that does not make it a hate crime or make it criminal. Any of us can throw around accusations or allegations of transphobia or of any other kind of phobia, but that does not make it criminal. In order for a point of view to be criminal, if amendments 1 and 11 are accepted, it must be not merely hateful,...

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (10 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: That is the point that I was going to close on. It was addressed very powerfully by someone else with whom I do not always agree, Sandra White. She said that much of the answer to this will depend on police training. The police must be appropriately trained about the parameters of the criminality that we are setting down. I believe that that must happen not only with regard to freedom of...

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (10 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: If I am permitted to, I will.

Scottish Parliament: Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (10 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: There are two things that we can do. The other thing, of course, is to do what Neil Findlay suggested, which is the same as what Liam Kerr suggested all the way back in September, and take the bill off the table. We will all have a choice, whether it is tonight or tomorrow, to vote for or against the bill at stage 3. If members do not believe that the bill is fit for purpose, they should not...

Scottish Parliament: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (2 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: I have the greatest respect for Andy Wightman’s knowledge and experience of the law of defamation, but I am afraid that I do not agree with his arguments today, which are identical to his arguments at stage 2, when his amendments were either not pressed or, if they were pressed, were defeated—I cannot now remember which. The reason why I do not support or agree with Andy Wightman’s...

Scottish Parliament: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill (2 Mar 2021)

Adam Tomkins: As we have heard, the bill, which originated in the work of the Scottish Law Commission, puts the Scots law of defamation on a statutory footing that is fit for the 21st century. In doing so, it addresses and balances two competing rights—the right to freedom of expression and the right to protect one’s reputation, which is often seen as an aspect of the right to privacy. Taken as a...

Scottish Parliament: Citizens Assembly of Scotland (Report) (18 Feb 2021)

Adam Tomkins: I do not have a long time left in this Parliament and I want to use my remarks this afternoon to reflect on the state of our politics. I hope that I will not completely break this afternoon’s consensus, but I will be candid and say things that might make some members uncomfortable. The report of the citizens assembly urges that we should do our politics differently and, in particular, that...

Scottish Parliament: Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (Malicious Prosecutions) (10 Feb 2021)

Adam Tomkins: I will start with a quote from a letter that the Lord Advocate sent to me, as convener of the Justice Committee, on 1 February. He said: “in Scotland … all prosecution decisions are made by public prosecutors within the system of criminal prosecution for which the Lord Advocate, acting independently of any other person, is responsible.” He went on: “It is for the Lord Advocate, as...

Scottish Parliament: Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (Malicious Prosecutions) (10 Feb 2021)

Adam Tomkins: I will say that again. All this time, the perpetrators sit untouched. Frank Mulholland’s judgment, as Scotland’s prosecutor, is in the dock, while Frank Mulholland himself sits in judgment. It stinks, Presiding Officer, and do you know what it stinks of? It stinks of corruption.


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