Thank you to all those who have contacted me about the protection of rights in the UK.
This Government seems more focused on divisive, headline-grabbing policies rather than dealing with the people’s priorities, such as the appallingly low charge rates for rape and sexual offences; worrying levels of violent crime; the thousands of criminals going unpunished; and victims withdrawing from the investigation process because they do not feel they will see justice.
The Public Order Bill received Royal Assent and is now the Public Order Act 2023. I consistently voted against this Act in Parliament as I believe that it will disproportionately interfere with human rights legislation.
During the coronation of King Charles III, six individuals were arrested under the new offences set out within the Act and subsequently released without charge. I remain concerned that the threshold for triggering the new offences is too low and casts the net too wide, risking criminalising peaceful protests and non-criminal action.
Moving forward, I believe that we must untangle this mess of legislation and safeguard our fundamental freedoms. Instead, I worry that the Government has chosen headlines over common sense, and strict limitations over liberty.
With regards to proposed Bill of Rights, the Government is yet to bring this forward for its Second Reading, despite being published nearly a year ago and I am aware of reports it may be scrapped for a third time.
I believe that this Bill threatens the basic legal protections enjoyed by the British people – I robustly defend the Human Rights Act and I will continue to follow developments in this area very closely.