Threats to MPs: is the law around free speech and protest working?

13 May 2019

Reports of threats made against MPs have increased by 126% in the last year according to the Met Police, but in evidence to UK Parliament Human Rights Committee free speech advocates say that current laws are sufficiently robust to protect MPs from hate speech and threats.

Purpose of the session

The Index on Censorship, Global Partners Digital and Professor Rowbottom from the University of Oxford will be questioned by the Committee on free speech laws. They will discuss whether the current legal framework around the right to free speech, protest and threats to MPs is working or not.

The panel will also be asked about the Cabinet Office’s recently announced proposals that people who intimidate candidates or campaigners in the run up to an election will be banned from running for public office for 5 years. They will also be asked for their opinions on who should judge what should be removed from social media sites when it comes to political speech, and whether its right that they as private companies currently make those decisions according to their own community guidelines.


Wednesday 15 May 2019, Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster

  • Jodie Ginsberg, Chief Executive Officer, Index on Censorship
  • Jacob Rowbottom, Associate Professor of Law, University of Oxford 
  • Richard Wingfield, Head of Legal, Global Partners Digital

Further information

Image: PA

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