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  • Gareth Bacon

We must protect freedom of speech

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

Today in the House of Commons I spoke and voted in favour of the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill to protect freedom of speech and academic freedom.


The Bill will require universities, colleges and, for the first time, legally require students' unions to defend free speech. If they fail to ensure people can speak freely, the Bill allows for sanctions, including fines, to be imposed on them.


It is deeply regrettable that this legislation is needed, but sadly it is. At universities and colleges across the country, freedom of speech, thought, expression, and individuality are now being censored to impose, primarily, a hard-left world view.


As places of learning, these educational institutions should be places for open debate. We cannot allow loud mobs to silence others because they are afraid of being challenged - and that's why this Bill is necessary.


I am pleased to report that this important Bill passed and will now go onto the new stage.