Religious Hatred Bill to be Amended

October 26, 2005

Source: The Telegraph

On October 26, 2005 The Telegraph reported, "Charles Clarke is expected to amend his plans for a law banning incitement to religious hatred after peers inflicted a huge defeat on the Government last night. Peers voted by a majority of 149 in favour of an opposition amendment that would drastically change the contents of the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill. The Home Office said afterwards that it would not accept the Tory and Liberal Democrat proposals, which were also backed by some Labour peers, because they could make it virtually impossible for the courts to secure convictions. But Lady Scotland of Asthal, the Home Office minister, told peers that the Government was willing to think again. She also said she would give serious consideration to a solution that could attract widespread support. Ministers are under particular pressure from Muslims to legislate on this issue because they believe it is unfair that they do not enjoy the same protection as Sikhs and Jews, who are covered by the laws banning racial hatred."