Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
Our country is deeply divided. In my county of Nottinghamshire, hate crime is 18% higher today than it was a year ago. Is it not important that, in everything that we say and do in the years and months ahead of us, we watch the language and make sure it is temperate, and that we involve everybody? Seventeen million people voted to leave the EU and 16 million of us voted for us not to leave the EU, and most of us have accepted that we are now going to leave the EU. In that spirit of bringing our nation together, in the interests of everybody, will my right hon. Friend now take this opportunity unequivocally to condemn the language and the vilification of our judges, including the homophobic abuse of one of our judges? Will he now please set the tone for us to work together?
I wholeheartedly deplore the threats and the violent language used against the individual who I think launched this judicial case—that is utterly to be deplored. The point of division when one defends free speech is the point at which it encourages violence. In that respect, I absolutely agree. Hate crime is despicable, and those sorts of assaults are despicable.