Labour’s shadow government minister for legal aid, Karl Turner MP, has said that freedom of speech does not include the freedom to “generally offend.”
Turner, a self-proclaimed “#LeftyLawyer”, issued his remarkable statement in response to Brexit campaigner turned conservative commentator Darren Grimes defending himself against London police investigating him over an interview in which one of his guests said something offensive.
“Freedom of speech Darren doesn’t afford people the freedom to make racist remarks or generally offend,” the politician declared in a now-deleted tweet, adding: “I shall say nothing further given that you say [the Metropolitan Police] are investigating a complaint.”
The backlash against the lawyer MP was swift and extensive, ranging from members of the public to Members of Parliament.
“Freedom of speech *precisely* involves the freedom to offend. This is the whole point, from Charlie Hebdo to Voltaire to Rushdie,” responded Simon Clarke, the Conservative MP for Middlesborough