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“Anti-democratic” UK government Bill must be scrapped to protect freedom of speech

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

Amy answers the call of over 200 constituents to vote against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is an “anti-democratic, draconian clampdown on the rights to protest and assembly, flying in the face of international law.”


That is the message of East Dunbartonshire MP, Amy Callaghan, who this week returned to Westminster to vote against the UK government Bill following an appeal from over 200 people across East Dunbartonshire.


The Bill, which has faced fierce opposition within the House of Commons and from constituents across the UK, would give the police new powers to break up protests, increase the use of stop and search, and tackle unauthorised traveller encampments.


Holyrood has control over policing in Scotland, but Scottish MPs have raised concerns about the impact on people who wish to protest at the UK Parliament or elsewhere south of the border.


Commenting, Amy Callaghan MP said:


“This is an appalling Bill which has no place in a liberal democracy. International law enshrines the rights to protest and freedom of speech, and the UK government should try to bolster these fundamental rights, not undermine them through this grubby, anti-democratic Bill.


“Not only will this Bill have a significant impact on the rights of people in England, but it will limit the ability of anyone in Scotland who wishes to make their voice heard outside Westminster or indeed anywhere else in England.


“It will also have a massive impact on the traveller community, in effect outlawing their way of life. This should come as no surprise, given Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross’ previous disparaging comments about the travelling community, an ethnic group that is already severely marginalised in society.


“I returned to Westminster this week to add my voice and vote against the Bill, and SNP MPs will continue to oppose it at every opportunity.”

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