Tory hopeful calls Hate Crime Bill 'scandalous piece of legislation"

Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate Haroun Malik for Cumbernauld & Kilsyth is pledging to repeal the SNP’s Hate Crime Bill if he is elected

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 3:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 3:49 pm
Haroun Malik

Mr Malik is also backing plans that would seek to amend the law to give women in Scotland proper protection from hate crime.

In March, the Scottish Conservatives were the only party to oppose the Hate Crime Bill, but the SNP’s law passed thanks to support from Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green MSPs.

The Hate Crime Bill does not include sex as an aggravating factor, despite women often being targeted because of their sex.

Criminal defence lawyer Mr Malik who is also standing on the Central Scotland List said: “It’s a scandalous piece of legislation which offers no protection from prosecution to people for what they say in their own homes.

“Yet the SNP were supported by Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens to pass it. Only the Scottish Conservatives stood against this bill and removed even more extreme elements before it was finally railroaded through.

“If I am elected as the MSP for Cumbernauld & Kilsyth or as an MSP for the Central Region then I pledge to repeal this bill

“The passing of the Hate Crime Bill shows the danger of a SNP majority at Holyrood.”

However SNP candidate Jamie Hepburn said that this statement was not made in full view of the facts and accused Mr Malik of attention-seeking.

He added: "The SNP are proud of our record in promoting equality and protecting our communities, with police numbers up substantially and crime down significantly under our Government.

"The Conservatives might want to divide people with scaremongering to get attention but readers will recognise the dangers of giving people immunity from prosecution solely because a crime takes place in a domestic setting. The SNP has already commissioned detailed work under Helena Kennedy QC to look at misogyny and crimes against women which will report in less than a year.

"Voters won't be fooled by the party of the rape clause and two-child benefits cap suddenly purporting to be the voice of Scottish women."