Keir Starmer: enemy of free speech

The Labour leader has defended the outrageous police investigation of Darren Grimes.

spiked

Share

Anyone who cares about free speech should be chilled by Labour leader Keir Starmer’s refusal to criticise the outrageous police investigation of conservative campaigner Darren Grimes.

Police are investigating Grimes for an interview he produced for his YouTube channel with historian David Starkey. In it, Starkey made comments which were widely denounced as racist.

Starmer said on LBC this morning that, although tolerance is important, ‘as a general proposition, there is a line. When people go over the line it’s right that it’s investigated… I think it does sometimes have to involve the police unfortunately.’ He even said that ‘in some cases prosecutions’ are needed.

His comments echo those of Labour MP Karl Turner, who works on Starmer’s justice team. Turner told Grimes that free speech does not give people the right to ‘generally offend’, which it plainly does.

Starmer’s position is disgraceful. The Labour leader is justifying a shameful assault on free expression. He is supporting the prospect of criminal charges for offensive speech. And it wasn’t even Grimes who made the offensive remarks.

Such indifference to our most basic freedoms cannot be ignored. As director of public prosecutions, Starmer undermined defendants’ rights. More recently, the former human-rights lawyer has completely failed to stand up for the public’s rights during the lockdown, supporting pretty much every government restriction on our lives.

We can’t rely on Labour to defend our freedoms.

Picture by: Getty.

Help spiked fight for freedom – become a regular donor

2021 is looking an awful lot like 2020 so far – lockdown authoritarianism, Big Tech censorship and woke hysteria continue to run amok. We’re going to have to fight for freedom, democracy and sanity all over again this year, and spiked intends to play our part. But to do so we need your help. If you enjoy what we do, and you have a bit of money to spare, please do consider donating to spiked – or even better, becoming a regular donor. Even £5 per month is a huge help, allowing us to keep bringing you our free articles, essays and insights every day. You can find out more here. Thank you!

Donate now

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.