Image copyright EPA Image caption Facebook has apologised after some users saw the names of ministers during the debate
After the parliamentary debate on hate speech, groups representing victims of hate crimes are concerned that words used by MPs may also affect law enforcement.
Some MPs were in parliament to vent their opinions on specific stories and words surrounding the ‘scots rapist’ and domestic abuse deaths.
But the government is now planning to rewrite the law after the legislation is passed.
Ben Howells, of anti-hate group the Equality and Human Rights Commission, told Radio 4’s Today programme: “At the very least it seems to me that MPs words on these so-called ‘reactions’ were directly linked to the proposed law change.”
He added: “The government has got a big responsibility to avoid the language that MPs were using are directly linked to the statutory changes being brought in.
“There are serious concerns that that may happen.”
Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights says it is illegal to incite hatred and hate crimes.
But in November, the prime minister promised “bill of rights-style changes” to the legislation following pressure from campaigners, who said the existing rules were not specific enough and not strong enough.
Ministers were asked to make sure words used in Parliament don’t undo reform, as they are currently working on that law change
Last month, parliament debated the reinstatement of life sentences for those who commit serious crimes against women and girls, and how the law will be applied to hate speech.
The new minister for addressing hate crime, Greg Hands, told the BBC’s Westminster Hour that “if there’s language” being used, it was crucial the government clarified that the new legislation is not used in a similar way.
“We have to be very careful, to make sure people understand that what is being done isn’t just for them but for all of society,” he said.
He added that terms in the Bill would be subject to another 12 months’ review to make sure “what is being done isn’t just for them but for all of society”.
“This change in the law [I am recommending] will apply to all victims, including heterosexual victims of domestic abuse, including disabled victims of domestic abuse,” Mr Hands said.
He also confirmed that charges under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2006, which allows police to stop people at random at known terror hotspots such as airports, sporting venues and on public transport, were due to be brought to an end.