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Prime Minister backs JK Rowling as row over Scotland’s new hate crime laws escalates

Rishi Sunak said people should not be criminalized “for stating simple facts about biology” as he backed author JK Rowling in her criticism of Scotland’s new hate crime laws.

The Harry Potter author, who has become a vocal critic of the Scottish government’s stance on transgender rights, dared the police to arrest her as the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act came into force yesterday.

The new measures The aim is to combat the harm caused by hate and prejudice and to extend protection from abusive behavior to people on grounds such as age, disability, religion, sexual orientation and transgender identity.

Gentleman appears to defend the author Sunak promised in a statement that his party would “always protect” free speech.

“People should not be criminalized for stating simple facts about biology,” he said.

“We believe in free speech in this country, and conservatives will always protect it.”

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Humza Yousaf defends new laws against hate crimes

In a social media post criticizing the new laws, Rowling stressed that the “legislation is widely vulnerable to abuse by activists seeking to silence those of us who speak out about the dangers of eliminating single-sex spaces for women and girls.”

The 58-year-old argued: “It is impossible to accurately describe or address the reality of violence and sexual violence committed against women and girls, or to address the current attack on the rights of women and girls, unless we are allowed to call a man .” a man.”

Responding to comments from Siobhan Brown MSP, a Holyrood vicar, who said people “could be investigated” for misrepresenting someone online, Rowling said: “I’m out of the country at the moment, but if that, what I have written here will be considered a criminal offence. “Under the terms of the new law, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment.”

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Activists gather outside the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood in Edinburgh to celebrate the introduction of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act.  The law consolidates existing hate crime legislation and creates a new offense of inciting hatred against protected characteristics.  Picture date: Monday April 1, 2024.
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Activists gather outside the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood. Image: PA

It came as a group of protesters staged a demonstration outside Holyrood against the new laws.

One of the organisers, Stef Shaw, told Sky News there was “huge cause for concern” about the new legislation.

Mr Shaw, also known as “Glasgow Cabbie”, said he saw no positive aspects of the act and said it would only cause major problems.

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Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf stressed he was “very proud” of the new laws and said they would help protect against a “rising tide” of hate.

He stressed he was “very confident that Police Scotland can implement this legislation in the way it should”.

Chief Constable Jo Farrell recently said the new laws would be applied “in a measured manner” and promised there would be a “close review” of how the laws are enforced and what reports are received.

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