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Letter to Home Secretary and Libdem Press statement

April 24, 2020 12:43 PM

Dear Home Secretary,

We are writing to raise concerns about incidents of racially-motivated hate crimes against people in the Chinese community during the coronavirus pandemic, and about videos on social media promoting these crimes.

Everyone should be free to live their lives without fear of discrimination, abuse or violence. Reports of Chinese people in the UK experiencing racist incidents linked to coronavirus are therefore deeply alarming.

The rise in online hate speech directed at the Chinese community is also very concerning: an analysis by the L1ght found a shocking 900% increase in content of that nature on Twitter. Less widely-reported but also extremely alarming are the videos being circulated on social media encouraging violence against members of the Chinese community.

We know you will agree that it is outrageous and unacceptable for anyone to try to exploit this pandemic to spread their racist views and incite violence. We urge you to act to counter this hatred, including using your public platforms to condemn this pernicious new form of racism.

Can you please outline what additional steps the Government is taking to prevent coronavirus-related hate crimes and protect members of the Chinese community from discrimination, abuse and violence?

We look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Christine Jardine MP, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson
Daisy Cooper MP, Liberal Democrat Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Spokesperson
Isabelle Parasram, Vice President of the Liberal Democrats

Press Release

The Liberal Democrats have called on the Home Secretary to set out what additional steps the Government is taking to prevent coronavirus-related hate crimes towards the Chinese community.

The call comes amid concerns about incidents of racially-motivated hate crimes against people in the Chinese community during the coronavirus pandemic, including a shocking 900% increase in content of that nature on Twitter.

In a letter to the Home Secretary from Christine Jardine MP, Daisy Cooper MP and Isabelle Parasram, Vice President of the Liberal Democrats, the Liberal Democrats have urged the Home Secretary to use her public platforms to "condemn this pernicious new form of racism."

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

"Everyone should be free to live their lives without fear of discrimination, abuse or violence. Reports of Chinese people in the UK experiencing racist incidents linked to coronavirus are therefore deeply alarming.

"All of us with a public platform must stand up to those whose language spreads hate - whether on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or anything else. The Home Secretary must stand up and be counted by taking these concerns head on."

Dr George Lee, speaking for the Chinese Liberal Democrats, added:

"British Chinese contribute enormously to the wealth and well-being of this country. As citizens we should be afforded the same rights and respect as any other citizen to live our lives without fear or discrimination.

"We look to the UK Government, politicians, the media and other public figures to show leadership and set the right tone during this crisis not of our making."