Reform Section 5 campaigners protest outside Parliament

Posted on 1st, September 2012

Christians, secularists and gay rights activists battled the rain as well as the law yesterday to protest outside parliament to reform Section 5 of the 1986 Public Order Act. The determined crowd carried black and white placards printed with phrases. Each statement duplicated an “insult”, for which members of the public have already been arrested […]

Government under mounting pressure to axe “anti free speech” law

Posted on 7th, July 2012

The Government is under mounting pressure to axe “insults” from Section 5 following a debate in the House of Lords. Lord Mawhinney, the former Tory Party Chairman who forced the debate, told the Government there was broad opposition to Section 5 in its current form. “There is a widespread opposition to the continued inclusion of […]

New: Deputy Prime Minister backs calls to Reform Section 5

Posted on 2nd, July 2012

Monday 2nd July The Sunday Times has reported that the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has added his personal support to our campaign to Reform Section 5. The article, which took over all of page 10, can be viewed online (behind the pay-wall) HERE. Marie Woolf, Sunday Times Whitehall Editor, writes that Government sources said […]

Pensioner threatened with arrest for calling religion “fairy stories”

Posted on 19th, June 2012

June 19, 2012 A pensioner who had a sign in his window saying “religions are fairy stories for adults” has been threatened with arrest under controversial Section 5 of the Public Order Act. Lincolnshire pensioner, John Richards, was told by officers that he may face arrest if he puts up the sign at his home, […]

Former Director of Public Prosecutions, Lord Macdonald, supports the Reform Section 5 Campaign

Posted on 31st, May 2012

Speaking on the Victoria Derbyshire show, Lord Macdonald emphatically threw his weight behind the campaign to reform Section 5 of the Public Order Act. He said: “I think the problem with the word insulting is that it encourages the police and sometimes prosecutors to go after people who are being no more than rude or […]

A message from Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute and Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society

Posted on 23rd, May 2012

A week ago we launched Reform Section 5 with a press conference in the House of Commons. The reaction was exactly what we hoped for: within hours everyone was talking about how ridiculous it is to outlaw insults. The biggest problem we had was finding anyone to disagree with us! Apparently, criminalising insults is pretty […]

Coverage of the Campaign Launch

Posted on 15th, May 2012

How do you insult someone legally?
BBC Magazine

Free speech campaign on Public Order Act and insults
BBC Daily Politics

Lib Dem policy goes viral as ‘Reform Section 5′ campaign launched
Liberal Democrat Voice

Why insults are a political issue
The Guardian

These petty laws are an insult to the public

It must be every Englishman’s right to call Prezza a chimp
Quentin Letts

MPs and campaigners unite to oppose law which ‘bans insults’ saying it threatens freedom of speech
Daily Mail

UK law that bans insulting words faces opposition
Times of India

Law banning insulting words and behaviour ‘has to end’
BBC News

This ban on insults is a gag on free speech
Evening Standard, Editorial

Peter Tatchell’s right, we don’t need a law against hurt feelings
The Guardian

Free speech campaigners: ‘Feel free to insult us’

Why repealing the law against ‘insulting’ language would be a victory for free speech and common sense
Daily Mail

Free speech ‘strangled by law that bans insults’ and is abused by over-zealous police and prosecutors
Daily Mail

Your horse is gay: MP’s campaign group wants insulting language law scrapped
Evening Standard

Should insulting someone be against the law?
Radio 4 Today Programme

The Mail supports the broad coalition of MPs and religious, secularist and free-speech campaigners calling on the Home Secretary to amend the law.
Daily Mail Comment

Law banning insulting language ‘is strangling free speech’
The Daily Telegraph

Pressure on Home Secretary to improve free speech law
The Christian Institute

Home Secretary under pressure to reform Public Order Act
National Secular Society

Odd allies for Sammy Wilson in fight for the right to be offensive
The Belfast Telegraph

Devon Humanists say reform the Public Order Act to protect Free Speech
This Is Devon

Home Secretary under pressure to reform Public Order Act

Posted on 15th, May 2012

David Davis MP leads cross-party efforts as exclusive poll shows massive Commons backing for reform Human rights campaigners, secularists and faith groups unite in support The launch of a major new campaign will increase the pressure on Home Secretary Theresa May to reform a controversial section of the 1986 Public Order Act, after mounting evidence […]