Tory MP’s free speech victory in trans row as police wipe ‘hate incident’ | Politics | News

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A Conservative MP has won a major free speech victory today, after having a ‘non-crime hate incident’ wiped from her record by the police.

The victory comes after Redditch MP Rachel Maclean shared a post on Twitter last year, which described Bromsgrove Green Party candidate Melissa Poulton of being “a man who wears a wig and calls himself a ‘proud lesbian’”.

Ms Maclean said: “While the Greens don’t know what a woman is, my Worcestershire neighbours the people of Bromsgrove certainly do”.

West Mercia Police said the comment constituted a “non-crime hate incident”.

Ms Maclean apologised for the post, but refused to apologise for “the Green Party’s policies on sex and gender”.

Non-crime hate incidents are used by the police to collect information on “hate incidents” that could escalate into more serious harm, but do not themself constitute a criminal offence.

After pledging in December to challenge the police over their decision to record the spat on her record, Ms Maclean won a major free speech victory today as the police said they would delete the incident.

The victory comes after the Free Speech Union took on her case, and succeeded in forcing an apology from the force.

The Police have now established that Ms Maclean does not represent a “real risk of significant harm to individuals or groups with a particular characteristic and/or a real risk that a future criminal offence may be committed against” them”.

West Mercia Police Deputy Chief Constable Richard Cooper said: “Having sought the advice from the Legal Department and Force Crime and Incident Registrar, it has been determined that the incident did not meet the definition of an ‘incident’ as defined by the National Standard for Incident Recording”.

“As a result, the ‘hate incident’ and indeed the personal details have now been removed from the West Mercia Police systems.”

Responding to her free speech victory, Ms Maclean said she is “pleased to see this ridiculous ‘hate incident’ has been thrown out and all records removed from the police database”.

“What a total distraction from policing. I’m grateful for the Free Speech Union’s support fighting this”.

She pledged to “not stop speaking up on behalf of all women and men who feel gaslighted by those who would deny the biological reality and scientific truth that is staring them in the face”.

Tory party chairman Richard Holden piled on with support, saying “well done to one of our Conservative Deputy Chairmen for taking this on and winning”.

Michael Gove simply added: “Rachel is wonderful”.

Director of the Free Speech Union, Toby Young, said that residents in Scotland, who face a free speech onslaught thanks to the SNP’s recent Hate Crime Act, should join the FSU, who will do “every we can to get NCHIs scrubbed from the record”.

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