A new Bill aimed at curbing ‘extremism’ is set to be unveiled in the Queen’s Speech.
The extremism Bill will reportedly seek to “ban organisations, gag individuals and close down premises used to ‘promote hatred'”.
Critics have consistently said the Government’s plans to counter extremism risk criminalising people for simply standing up for their beliefs.
The Times newspaper reports that the extremism Bill will be announced by HM the Queen on 18 May, when she lays out the Government’s agenda for the next year.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “We are not going to speculate about the content of the Queen’s Speech in advance.”
But a Home Office source said: “Getting agreement about the thresholds for what constitutes extremism and what needs to be protected as free speech is not going to be easy or straightforward.”
The Defend Free Speech campaign – which is supported by The Christian Institute – has been warning about the threat from the Government’s extremism proposals.
It says that Extremism Disruption Orders (EDOs) will “restrict the activities of people the Government thinks are engaged in ‘extreme activities’ – even if they have not broken the law”.
… innocent people will fall foul of the law for merely holding unpopular, traditional or challenging views.Defend Free Speech
A range of critics have warned that “innocent people will fall foul of the law for merely holding unpopular, traditional or challenging views”.
In October 2015, over 50 influential Christian leaders warned that plans for EDOs threaten democracy and would be a “disaster” for the church.
And a former head of MI5, Lord Evans, said that the plans to curb extremism could hit Christian street preachers.