Shailesh Vara calls on the Home Secretary to ensure that laws such as those relating to incitement to hate and violence are applied to all.
Mr. Shailesh Vara (North-West Cambridgeshire) (Con): The Home Secretary will be aware that, every so often, protests and marches are held at which people use language, both orally and on placards, that many would regard as inflammatory. The police do not seem to take any action, despite the popular belief that various laws have been broken. Not surprisingly, there is a perception that some people can get away with breaking the law, whereas the majority of the public would be prosecuted for committing the same breaches. Will the right hon. Lady kindly assure the House that no one is above the law and that, when it comes to this issue, anyone who breaches the law will be prosecuted?
Jacqui Smith: Yes, I can give the hon. Gentleman that commitment. That was why we changed the law to ensure that the glorification of terrorism was a criminal offence. People have been prosecuted for precisely the sort of activity that he outlined. Our argument is that we should use the law for people who overstep it, but that even when they do not overstep that line, the Government, Parliament and the community more widely should nevertheless provide a strong challenge. That is something that I hope and expect to see."