Cabinet rethinks race hate laws after jury frees BNP leaders

Race hatred laws may have to be revised following the acquittal of the British National party’s leader, Nick Griffin, for the second time on incitement charges, senior government figures said last night. Gordon Brown, the chancellor, and Lord Falconer, the lord chancellor, said the laws may have to be looked at, while a spokesman for John Reid, the home secretary, said he would be “taking soundings” from cabinet colleagues about changing the laws.

“Mainstream opinion in this country will be offended by some of the statements that they have heard made,” said Mr Brown. “If there is something that needs to be done to look at the law then I think we will have to do that,” he told BBC News 24. Lord Falconer told the BBC that it was time to rethink the race hate laws. “What is being said to young Muslim people in this country is that we as a country are anti-Islam, and we have got to demonstrate without compromising freedom that we are not,” he said.

Guardian, 11 November 2006

See also the Independent, 11 November 2006

And BBC News, 11 November 2006