The Liberal Democrats are calling on anyone "with the privilege of a public platform – including Government Ministers" to "condemn the irresponsible and divisive rhetoric that inflames hatred", as new official figures show hate crimes have risen to a new record high.
The Home Office figures, released today, show that:
- 105,090 hate crimes were recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2019-20 – a new record high.
- There was a particularly big increase in hate crimes against LGBT+ people, with a 19% year-on-year increase in sexual orientation-based hate crimes and an 18% increase in transphobic hate crimes.
- There was a big spike in the number of racially- and religiously-motivated hate crimes in June and July 2020.
Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:
"Far too many people’s lives are blighted by discrimination, hatred and abuse. It is unacceptable that, in the 21st century, people are still victimised simply for who they are.
"The rise in racist hate crimes and hate crimes against LGBT+ people must be stopped and reversed. All of us with the privilege of a public platform – including Government Ministers – have a responsibility to condemn the irresponsible and divisive rhetoric that inflames hatred.
"The Liberal Democrats will always stand firm against hate. We must bring people together to build a society where we celebrate diversity and where everyone feels safe and secure, able to be who they are, and live the life they choose."