Intimidation in Public Life — [Sir Gary Streeter in the Chair]

Part of Secondary School Standards: East Cleveland – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 21st May 2019.

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Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee) 2:30 pm, 21st May 2019

I thank the hon. Gentleman for bringing this issue forward for debate, and I acknowledge his consistent work on it over the years. I think we all agree fully with what he says, the propositions he puts forward and the context in which he places them. This is not just criminality against individuals; even more importantly than that, it is a fundamental attack on our democracy.

How does the hon. Gentleman think we should address this issue? Obviously, there are actions the Government need to take, and we know they are concerned, but in a way the issue is wider than that. It is an issue for all the parties and for the House as a whole, not just for the Government. What does he think about the mechanisms for taking action? One of the things I have considered—I do not know whether he thinks this is a good idea or whether he has an alternative proposal—is that we should have a Speaker’s conference on this issue. That would need the Government’s support. It would bring together the CPS, the police, the political parties—