Statement made by
Today, I am pleased we are laying before both Houses the Government’s response to the 17th report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life on intimidation in public life.
In July 2017, I asked the independent Committee on Standards in Public Life to undertake a review into the issue of abuse and intimidation experienced by Parliamentary candidates, including those who stood in the 2017 General Election campaign. Concerns were highlighted by those across the political spectrum. The Committee published a comprehensive report in December.
The Government would like to again thank the Committee for their considered and thorough report. Today we publish the Government’s response to the report, which addresses the roles of the main players – Government, social media, the law, policing and prosecution, and political parties - and the range of actions the Government will take in both the immediate and longer-term.
It is not just politicians who have experienced unwarranted abuse – it has included journalists and other prominent figures in public life. Everyone deserves to be treated with tolerance and respect, and the British liberties of freedom of speech and freedom of association must always operate within the law. All those in public life need to demonstrate their opposition to intimidation and call it out, and report it when they see it. We must all work together to combat this issue.