Blair Promises Anti-Religious Discrimination Law

September 24, 2004

Source: Church Times

On September 24, 2004 the Church Times reported, "The Prime Minister announced this week that he would change the law to make religious discrimination unlawful. In his keynote speech to the Labour Party Conference in Brighton on Tuesday, Tony Blair said that he was acting to demonstrate to Muslims in Britain that the values of the rule of law, liberty, and tolerance applied to all UK citizens. The Home Office responded immediately by announcing that legislation would be announced in the Queen’s Speech that would ban discrimination in the provision of goods and services on the basis of a person’s faith or belief. Although the legislation would apply to all religions, it was particularly in response to evidence submitted to the Government by the Muslim Council of Britain that there was discrimination in the provision of goods and services, a Home Office spokesman said. The new law could be introduced as part of a Department of Trade and Industry Bill to set up a commission for employment and human rights. At present, only Jews and Sikhs are protected from such discrimination, as their religion falls under the race-relations laws."