Category Archives: Hate Speech

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Unilever Threaten To Pull Advertising From Facebook And Google Over Extremist Content

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Unilever has threatened to pull advertising from platforms like Google and Facebook if they don’t do more to tackle extremist and illegal content.

It said consumer trust in social media is at an all time low and called on the industry to “collectively build trust back into our systems and society” in an era of “fake news and toxic online content”, warning it may cut investment in “platforms which breed division”.

Speaking at a leadership meeting in Palm Springs, Florida, Unilever’s Chief Marketing Officer, Keith Weed, called on technology giants to make a veritable stand against “things they see are not right” and stop “illegal, unethical and extremist behaviour and material on their platforms”.

Unilever vowed to: 

1) Not invest in platforms that do not protect children or which create division in society.

2) Commit to tackling gender stereotypes in advertising through #Unstereotype and championing this across the industry through #SeeHer and the #Unstereotype Alliance.

3) To only partner with organisations which are committed to creating better digital infrastructure, such as aligning around one measurement system and improving the consumer experience.

Speaking ahead of his speech, Weed said: “As a brand-led business, Unilever needs its consumers to have trust in our brands. We can’t do anything to damage that trust – including the choice of channels and platforms we use. So, 2018 is the year when social media must win trust back.”

He continued: “2018 is either the year of techlash, where the world turns on the tech giants – and we have seen some of this already – or the year of trust. The year where we collectively rebuild trust back in our systems and our society.

“Across the world, dramatic shifts are taking place in people’s trust, particularly in media. We are seeing a critical separation of how people trust social media and more ‘traditional’ media. In the US only less than a third of people now trust social media (30%), whilst almost two thirds trust traditional media (58%).”

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Weed added: “Fake news, racism, sexism, terrorists spreading messages of hate, toxic content directed at children – parts of the internet we have ended up with is a million miles from where we thought it would take us.

“It is in the digital media industry’s interest to listen and act on this.”

Weed said it was up to all stakeholders to be part of the “solution”, saying Unilever was not “interested in issuing ultimatums or turning my face while I demand others sort this out”.

Unilever has met with Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon and Snapchat and Weed said he had repeated “one point to each and every one of them”, that it was “critical that our brands remain not only in a safe environment, but a suitable one”.

“It is acutely clear from the groundswell of consumer voices over recent months that people are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of digital on wellbeing, on democracy – and on truth itself. This is not something that can brushed aside or ignored,” he said. 

Experts in digital media say that more buyers of advertising will have to join Unilever to spur change.

“The advertising ecosystem contains so many players, so for Facebook and Google to see any dent in the profits they make, there will need to be many companies that not only put their hat in the ring, but also follow through on these threats,” Sam Barker, a senior analyst at Juniper Research told the BBC.

Unilever’s warning came as the Government unveiled a new technology that aims to automatically detect terrorist content before it hits the web.

Tests show the tool can identify 94% of IS propaganda videos and has an extremely high accuracy rate.

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Sunday Show Round-Up: Mordaunt Predicts Brexit ‘Meat’ As Soubry Warns Labour-Tory Alliance Could Reject Deal

Penny Mordaunt remains “chipper” about Brexit the development secretary insisted today during her Andrew Marr interview, as she said voters want to see Theresa May put “meat on the bones” of her plan to leave the EU. But there were signs of the trouble ahead as the prime minister was warned by Anna Soubry there was unlikely to be Commons majority for her exit deal.

Also this morning, Mordaunt warned aid charities amid the Oxfam scandal that they will lose government money if they do not protect vulnerable people. David Gauke said  Philip Hammond has not been silenced on Brexit. John McDonnell said Labour would prefer a general election to a second referendum. The shadow chancellor accused Alastair Campbell of engaging in “macho” politics. Current Ukip leader Henry Bolton admitted there were still “strong affections there” between him and Jo Marney. And Marr was polite to Mordaunt – proving the BBC’s pro-Tory bias. 

Mordaunt used her appearance on Marr to deny Brexiteers like her had misled voters into thinking leaving the EU would be easy. “No one thought it was going to be a walk in the park,” she said. The development secretary also denied the process was ripping the Tory party apart. “The parliamentary party and the cabinet are behind the prime minister. We are tying to get the best deal possible for the UK,” she said.

The government will bid to regain the initiative with a series of top level speeches by the prime minister and senior cabinet colleagues in the coming weeks. Mordaunt said: “What the public want, is they want the vision and they want some meat on the bones, and this what they are going to get.”

Asked if she was still “chipper” about Brexit given its difficulties, Mordaunt added: “I am.” Marr was heard congratulating his guest after her solid performance. “That was very good,” he told her. The polite acknowledgment inevitably led to a burst of Twitter conspiracy theories demanding to know why the BBC interviewer was being nice to someone on his programme.

David Gauke meanwhile used his appearance on ITV’s Peston on Sunday to reject accusations that Philip Hammond had been gagged. “He’s not part of the set of speeches that have been outlined today, but that doesn’t mean the chancellor is not expressing his views both internally in the cabinet conversations but also externally. He is setting out his views.” the justice secretary said.

“I don’t think there’s anything in this, that there is any kind of plot to gag a particular faction of ministers. I don’t think that’s a fair characterisation at all.”

Remain cheerleaders Anna Soubry and Chuka Umunna used a joint appearance on the Marr sofa to warn May that a Labour and pro-EU Tory alliance could defeat her Brexit plan.

Soubry said she was convinced there is a Commons majority against the UK leaving the customs union and single market. Asked if Brexit will actually go ahead, she added: “I genuinely don’t know what is going to happen.”

Told it looked like she was closer politically to Labour’s Umunna than she was to her Tory backbench colleague Jacob Rees-Mogg, Soubry told Marr: “I’m not denying that.”

Over Peston, May was given a prod from the Brexiteer flank. Former Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers said she only “might” be prepared to support the prime minister’s final Brexit deal.

Speaking to Peston, John McDonnell attempted to clarify what Labour means when it says it wants the UK to be a member of a customs union not the customs union.

The shadow chancellor said his plan would mean the UK could “influence the trade deals” negotiated by the EU. “If the argument is if we remain in the customs union like like Turkey you don’t have that same level of influence,” he said.

McDonnell, as Jeremy Corbyn has done previously, refused to rule out Labour supporting a second referendum. But he added: “I think better we have a general election.”

Earlier on Marr, shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne denied Labour’s position was confusing. “Actually what we’ve got is quite a coherent position,” he said. “The Labour Party policy is we don’t take anything off the table. We want the benefits of the single market and tariff-free access and a Customs Union with the EU.”

McDonnell also got into a lively spat with fellow Peston guest Alastair Campbell over Labour’s Brexit policy. As the pair shouted over each other, McDonnell accused Campbell of “macho” politics.

And the shadow chancellor came up with what he himself acknowledged was a “counter initiative” argument as to why it was a good thing Labour wasn’t leaping ahead in the polls. “We need something like this to say every vote has to be won,” he said. “I don’t think any of us have been swaggering.”

Henry Bolton Ukip’s, embattled leader, admitted he still has “strong affections” for his former girlfriend who sent racist messages about Meghan Markle.

Asked by Andrew Marr if he was “still in love” with Marney, the former army officer said: “There are strong affections there yes.”. Bolton added the “general consensus” was that there was a “problem with my judgment around that whole episode”. But Bolton also suggested that Marney’s messages had been “doctored”, adding: “In the days to come there will be more evidence being presented as to how they were obtained.” 

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Jacob Rees-Mogg Claims University Scuffle Was ‘Not As Dramatic As It Looked’

Jacob Rees-Mogg told MPs a scuffle he became embroiled in at a university was ‘not as dramatic as it looked’.

The high-profile Brexiteer said he was more concerned about the persistent online abuse of female MPs than “a small protest”.

Rees-Mogg was addressing the University of West England’s (UWE) politics and international relations society in Bristol on Friday when a group of masked protesters burst into the room, sparking an altercation.

The Somerset MP told the Commons and Lords joint human rights committee he had deliberately stood in between the demonstrators and some audience members to avoid anyone being hit, but that the incident was resolved quickly.

“I think it’s important not to get this out of proportion,” he said. 

“The television pictures made it look much more dramatic than it was.

“I stood between two people I thought were going to hit each other…I stood in between them because I knew they were not going to hit me.”

He said the group – none of which are believed to be students – did not want him to be heard, but refused his offer of a discussion.

“That was the point of their protest, and I think as a protest that’s perfectly legitimate.  Not everyone is going to want to sit there quietly and listen to my view of the world.”

Rees-Mogg said politicians often face heckling and protests as “a part of life”.

He added: “The only thing I think was a bit odd is that they turned up wearing masks, and I think that is the one bit that ought not to have happened.

“But I am much more concerned about the online abuse and threats that female MPs get on a regular basis. 

“Male MPs, even ones like me who are quite controversial, just do not seem to get that, and I think that is much more off-putting than a small protest.

“They face much, much worse than what I did on Friday night.  I think there are much more serious things that are under-reported.”

A representative from UWE’s Student Union said security had been put in place in advance of the event, but “no student came up told us we should not be inviting [Rees-Mogg]”.

The Tory grassroots favourite said he felt it would be “a great shame” if backbench MPs had to start going along to events with security in tow.

“Politcians do not have to go and speak at universities, even though I regard it as a very good thing,” he said. 

“We could just go home on Thursday and Friday nights. And that can sometimes be quite tempting.

“Part of the strength of our political system is that MPs are part of the normal population.  We are just there. 

“It would be really sad if MPs felt that [security] was necessary, because how would we know what is going on in the country if we are always behind some protective cordon?”

A police investigation into Friday’s incident is ongoing.

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Stella Creasy And John Mann Urge Labour’s Ruling NEC To Take Tougher Action Against Online Abuse

Labour MPs have lined up to urge the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to take tougher action against online and offline abuse.

Speaking at the weekly meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), Stella Creasy and John Mann both highlighted the sexist and anti-semitic harassment they and their families had endured in recent months.

The PLP meeting, which also heard a string of MPs warn against ‘illegal’ interference in local council policies by the ruling NEC, saw Creasy and Mann demand tougher action against those guilty of abuse.

The meeting was told that party members, including some who had been suspended, had allegedly harassed their local MP and those close to them.

Other MPs raised the alleged harassment received by Haringey Council’s outgoing leader Claire Kober, who this weekend revealed she’d been subjected to stalking threats, intimidation and sexist and anti-semitic abuse.

The MPs spoke ahead of a speech by Theresa May on Tuesday, in which the Prime Minister was set to warn that “intimidation and aggression” on social media is coarsening public debate, deterring people from participating in politics and threatening British democracy.

Creasy made an impassioned plea for action as she detailed how she and her family had been targeted for over 20 months and demanded to know why the party had allowed suspended members to continue with misconduct.

At least three prominent cases of alleged anti-semitism, including Ken Livingstone’s case, have been investigated for months by the party’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC) and have yet to be resolved.

Mann, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Semitism, has received heavy abuse since he appeared on the BBC’s Question Time last week.

Party general secretary Iain McNicol explained that anyone suspended was still expected to conform with party standards on conduct.

“Stella and John were both deservedly strident. Their families have been targeted and the behaviour of some who purport to be members is disgraceful and should be more easily tackled than the current rules or NEC seem to want,” one MPs present told HuffPost UK.

The meeting also saw several MPs criticise the NEC for its decision last month to urge Haringey Council to ‘pause’ its Haringey Development Vehicle following opposition from councillors and residents.

MPs said that instructing local councils how to run their planning policies was illegal and would also undermine devolved accountability. 

PLP chairman John Cryer said the NEC had not issued instruction but had instead voted unanimously to recommend mediation between those who backed and those who opposed the HDV.

May is set to announce a new annual internet safety transparency report, to provide data on what offensive content is being reported, how social media companies are responding to complaints – and what material is being removed.

A Law Commission review of the legislation relating to offensive online communications, will also be conducted “to ensure that the criminal law, which was drafted long before the creation of social media platforms, is appropriate to meet the challenges posed by this new technology.”

A new social media code of practice will be published later this year setting out clearly the minimum standards expected of firms like Facebook and Twitter.

In a speech in Manchester, the birthplace and home of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, May was expected to say: “It is online where some of the most troubling behaviour now occurs…

“As well as being places for empowering self-expression, online platforms can become places of intimidation and abuse.

“This squanders the opportunity new technology affords us to drive up political engagement, and can have the perverse effect of putting off participation from those who are not prepared to tolerate the levels of abuse which exist.”

A Labour spokesman said: “The Labour party takes all instances of anti-Semitism extremely seriously and is committed to challenging it in all its forms.

“Any complaints of anti-Semitism are investigated and acted upon in line with Labour’s procedures.”

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Sunday Shows Round-Up: ‘Snake Oil Salesmen’, Ministers’ Rift Over Customs Deal And Katie Price

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As reports emerge that Theresa May is set to face a Brexiteer challenge to her premiership, her ministers went before the cameras to do battle – with each other. 

Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Housing Minister Dominic Raab offered opposing views on what the UK would reach a customs deal with the EU within minutes of one another. 

Rudd insisted Theresa May was “open minded” on a deal “within the customs framework”, on the Andrew Marr Show, while Raab told Robert Peston later the UK would not be staying in a customs union of “any form”. 

It comes ahead of ministerial crunch talks on Brexit this week and as reports emerged that Brexiteers were lining up a “dream team” – Boris Johnson as PM, Michael Gove as Deputy PM and Jacob Rees-Mogg as Chancellor – to replace May should she try to keep Britain in the customs union with the EU.

But it was a day of divisions on the Sunday shows, with Labour big hitters also at loggerheads. 

The Andrew Marr Show 

Former leader of Labour-run Haringey Council, Clare Kober, who resigned last week citing bullying and sexism from members of her own party was first up on the BBC Andrew Marr Show. 

Significantly, she told Marr that she had not raised complaints about bullying with he party’s ruling body, the National Executive Committee, as she had no faith its members would act on the complaints.

Her controversial plan for a public-private housing deal, the Haringey Development Vehicle – which Jeremy Corbyn hinted he viewed as a form of “social cleansing” – now looks to be dead in the water after the NEC intervened to pause it. 

Kober also recounted some disturbing incidents. 

“In the last two years, my experience has been that I have experienced more threats, more bullying, more intimidation than in the previous eight years put together,” she said. 

“It’s absolutely sexist and that runs from the way I was treated by the National Executive Committee just last week, and I don’t believe a man would have been treated the same way, through to examples in council meetings where party members have shouted at me and sung a Police song ‘Every Breath You Take’ as a means of intimidating me – that is a song about stalking. A man would not have been treated that way.” 

Former NEC member and Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth, speaking later on the BBC Sunday Politics show, said it sounded to him like Kober has legitimate complaints.

Ashworth, who until 18 months ago was a member of the NEC, said the body “would look at that very seriously”. 

He said, however, that “a substantial number of councillors on Haringey asked the NEC to intervene” and “it’s clear that there’s two sides of the story and both feel extremely strongly.” 

He added anyone found to have expressed anti-semitic views would be thrown out of the Labour Party. 

Next up was former Business Secretary Vince Cable.

The Lib Dems are one of the only parties united on Brexit, said Cable, who insisted he is enjoying his job as party leader, reminding Andrew Marr that a year ago, he was not even an elected politician. 

“We are winning the public argument, which is essentially that we have a vote on the final deal and I am very comfortable that we are in the right place. 

″I’m currently trying to press the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn in particular to come out and support this position, which most of his supporters wished he had.” 

Cable said that the Government was “making a terrible mess of the negotiations” but admitted there had been little movement in public support for Brexit. 

Marr put it to Cable that unless Corbyn’s Labour Party was supportive of backing a vote on the final deal, the policy was a “dead duck”. 

Cable disagreed and claimed Corbyn will eventually come under “enormous pressure” to change his position as there was a “simmering anger” among pro-Remain Labour MPs and members. 

Outgoing Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams described Corbyn as an “outstanding politician” and backed the Labour leader as the next PM. 

Brexit was “disastrous” for all of the island of Ireland, said Adams, and he still believes a deal can be reached to restore devolution at Stormont.

Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have previously faced criticism over their past dealings with Sinn Fein, including an occasion when they met the party at Westminster in the 1990s, before the IRA ceasefire.

Adams said Corbyn and former mayor Ken Livingstone were among the politicians who “kept faith” in peace talks.

He told Marr: “I would like to see Jeremy in that position [as PM] for the benefit of people in Britain, leaving Ireland out of it.

“I think Jeremy is an outstanding politician and I hope my endorsement of him is not used against him in the time ahead.

“He and (former London Mayor) Ken Livingstone and others kept faith and they were the people who said, when others said no, talk.” 

Asked why he had not joined the IRA in the past, Adams said: “I have never distanced myself from the IRA.” 

Next up was Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who insisted to Marr the Government was “not intimidated” by Brexiteers in her party. 

Amid reports of a plot brewing against the PM, she said: “I have surprise for the Brexiteers which is the (Cabinet) sub committee that meets in order to help make these decisions is more united than they think.  

“We meet in the committee. We meet privately for discussions. I think that we will arrive at something which suits us all.

“There will be choices to be made within that but we all want the same thing which is to arrive at a deal which works for the UK.” 

She also said that the Government would back staying in a kind of customs arrangement – something later strongly refuted by her colleague Dominic Raab – the housing minister. 

Rudd said: “She [the PM] has an open mind on it. We published a document last year saying how we would do it and we proposed either a customs arrangement or a customs partnership. Those are both alternatives we could look at.” 

Former speeches on Brexit made by the PM were put to Rudd, and she said: “I think what she is highlighting there is we do not want to have tariffs at the border so that is a form of customs agreement, arrangement, partnership.”

She also slapped down Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg over his astounding claim Treasury officials are “fiddling the figures”. 

Rees-Mogg has said he is “suspicious” of how Treasury officials operate, and that their economic models, which show the UK will be worse off in every Brexit scenario bar remaining in the Customs Union, amount to “fiddling the figures” in favour of Remain. 

But Rudd came out in defence of civil servants, saying they had her “complete confidence”, before adding: “I’m very surprised at Jacob because he is famously courteous, famously thoughtful, famously articulate so I’m very surprised that he has used that language.

“They are wrong, he is wrong here.” 

She also responded to criticism of Brexit minister Steve Baker, who last week aired a false claim in the House of Commons about a think tank’s boss claiming Treasury officials were pro-Remain. 

Rudd said: I think that Steve Baker has had an interesting week this week, when he also, over the whole debate about what was said when, was gracious enough to issue an apology.” 

One particular report in the Sunday papers said that Rudd would become Chancellor in a Government led by Boris Johnson. 

Replying to whether Rudd could serve under Johnson, she said: “That is such a difficult question on so many different levels, I’m going to pass.” 

Peston on Sunday

After a bruising week for Treasury officials, Robert Peston’s first interview was with Lord Gus O’Donnell, the former head of the UK Civil Service. 

He labelled claims civil servants were working to sabotage Brexit “completely crazy”, comparing Brexiteers to “snake oil salesmen” who, instead of accepting objective analysis on the economy, were trying to “shoot the messenger”. 

“The truth is civil servants operate by the civil service code,” he said. “The values are honesty, objectivity, integrity, impartiality.

“Their job is to look at the evidence and present it as best they can, analyse the uncertainties … but that’s what they do, they’re objective and impartial.

“And I think what you find is that tends to get accepted very nicely when it agrees with someone’s prior beliefs, but actually, when someone doesn’t like the answer, quite often they decide to shoot the messenger.”

He said the civil service seemed to be facing “one of the most sustained attacks” on its integrity in living memory by serving ministers, before adding: “We look at the evidence and we go where it is.

“Of course if you are selling snake oil, you don’t like the idea of experts testing your products.

“And I think that’s what we’ve got, this backlash against evidence and experts is because they know where the experts will go.”

Next up was Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti who, after hearing Kober’s remarks on the Andrew Marr Show, admitted the Labour Party must do more to shift sexism and antisemitism from the party. 

She insisted, however, that any report made to the NEC would be investigated. 

On the weekend marking 100 years since women got the vote, Chakbrabarti was also asked about the gender pay gap at the BBC. 

Asked if she thought the Director General Tony Hall should resign, she said: “I don’t think he has done enough [to tackle the pay gap], I will say that, but I don’t feel like calling for anyone’s demise today.” 

Peston then interviewed Dominic Raab, Housing Minister. 

He was categorical that the PM would not support the UK remaining in a customs union – directly contradicting government colleague Rudd. 

“I don’t think we’ll be in any form of customs union, at least as conceived in international trade practice,” he said. 

“Because if we were we would have our hands tied in negotiating free trade deals with other parts of the world, whether it’s Brazil, whether it’s China or India.

“The Prime Minister has been very clear we want to be able to grasp those opportunities.”

He also insisted there were no divisions within the party on trade. 

″I’m pretty sure I haven’t said anything about resignation to anyone in the media or otherwise, and I’m not talking about that.” 

“One of the reasons, one of the key advantages, one of the opportunities from leaving the EU is to have a more energetic approach to free trade. 

“The PM has been in favour of that all along.” 

He pointed to May’s journey to China and creating a Department for International Trade as evidence, adding: “There is absolutely not a fag paper between anyone on that issue.” 

Reacting to Kober’s interview on Marr, Labour MP Stella Creasy said: “I think a lot of us have concerns.” 

She added: “I myself know how difficult it is to complain when you are a target for this stuff. I’ve seen it in my local community. I’ve seen it nationally.” 

 Reality TV star Katie Price also spoke to Peston. 

She revealed how internet trolls made “sex videos” of her disabled son Harvey. 

Price is campaigning to make online abuse a specific criminal offence and will this week give evidence to a Commons committee.

Her 15-year-old son Harvey – who is partially blind, autistic and has Prader-Willi syndrome – was hit with abuse on Twitter last year by an unnamed 19-year-old who received a caution from Sussex Police.

 

Price won the backing of MPs Stella Creasy and John Whittingdale for her campaign as she opened up in a TV interview about some of the disturbing abuse her son was subjected to. 

Labour MP Creasy said: “What happened to Katie’s son is horrific and completely unacceptable.

“My frustration as somebody who has always experienced this is all too often it seems an issue about malicious communications, actually there is legislation around harassment.” 

BBC Sunday Politics

Sarah Smith’s first interviewee was Conservative Party Chairman Brandon Lewis. 

He is calling for members of all political parties to sign up to a ‘respect pledge’, which stipulates that people standing for Parliament to “behave responsibly and show respect” to others. 

Conservative candidates who insult rivals will be suspended, he has previously said. 

Lewis is also drawing up plans to tackle intimidation in public life. His appearance comes after a week in which Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg was involved in a scuffle with political opponents at a speaking engagement.

Lewis attempted to blame the hard left for the majority of the abuse, but when told by Smith that bad behaviour came from across the political spectrum he said: “I do agree with you, that people with views on the centre, right and left should have the freedom and the knowledge that they can come forward as a candidate.” 

The Conservatives will also strengthen electoral law to stop candidates facing intimidation at their home, the former Housing Minister said. 

Smith also picked out criticism in the Sunday papers from Bernard Jenkin, which accused the Government of being “vague” and “divided” over Brexit. 

Lewis said withdrawal was a “serious and complicated piece of work” and said ministers would be thrashing out detail during meetings this week. 

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Katie Price Reveals Internet Trolls Made ‘Sex Videos’ Of Her Disabled Son

Katie Price has revealed how internet trolls made “sex videos” of her disabled son Harvey. 

The reality TV star is campaigning to make online abuse a specific criminal offence and will this week give evidence to a Commons committee.

Her 15-year-old son Harvey – who is partially blind, autistic and has Prader-Willi syndrome – was hit with abuse on Twitter last year by an unnamed 19-year-old who received a caution from Sussex Police.

Price won the backing of MPs Stella Creasy and John Whittingdale for her campaign as she opened up in a TV interview about some of the disturbing abuse her son was subjected to. 

She told ITV’s Peston on Sunday show: “Harvey was getting racial abuse, they were mocking him, doing sex videos on him, putting him in t-shirts, and he’s got complex special needs – I’ve got five children but they always pick on him.

“I got two people arrested, (the police) seized all their computers, they seized everything, took them quite far, but then it got to the point where they can’t charge them with nothing because there’s nothing in place for it.”

Katie Price with her children Junior (left)Harvey and Princess arriving at a celebrity screening of The Lego Movie at the Vue West End, Leicester Square, London.” alt=”Katie Price with her children Junior (left)Harvey and Princess arriving at a celebrity screening of The Lego Movie at the Vue West End, Leicester Square, London.” data-credit=”PA Archive/PA Images” data-portal-copyright=”PA Archive/PA Images” data-provider=”pressassociation” data-provider-asset-id=”2.18935614″ data-has-syndication-rights=”false”>

She said she wants to introduce legislation called Harvey’s Law, and criticised a lack of social media security over protecting people from such abuse.

Labour MP Creasy said: “What happened to Katie’s son is horrific and completely unacceptable.

“My frustration as somebody who has always experienced this is all too often it seems an issue about malicious communications, actually there is legislation around harassment.

“The police and the CPS need to be much better at using the harassment legislation and put the victim at the centre of it.”

She said that she is concerned the authorities “see this as about the language used rather than the targeting of somebody” and added: “It’s that legislation that Katie needs.”

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Conservative former minister Whittingdale said: “I do think this is something we need to look at.

“When I was chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, we looked at the growth of the internet and the challenges it had brought.”

He supported Price’s campaign and said that existing laws “need to be amended or brought up to date” to take into account the development of online media.

Former glamour model Price also took aim at Channel 4 during her appearance on the politics programme.

She said: “Channel 4, I have to say, were promoting the Paralympics but at the same time had a comedian called Frankie Boyle, who basically said a horrific thing about my son.”

She said the channel “never apologised”, and asked “why should these people to get away with it?”.

“If I said something on the street about someone, you’d get arrested or whatever, but why is it online it doesn’t seem strong enough?

“If you go to buy a car, you need to give your address, you need to have some kind of security, and they need to do that online.”

The Petitions Committee will look at the impact of online abuse – particularly on people with disabilities – responsibility for protection, whether technology companies are doing enough, whether the law needs to be changed, how to define online abuse and what support is given to victims.

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12 Times Donald Trump’s White House Insulted Britain In His First Year As President

It seemed to start so well. Theresa May was the first foreign leader Donald Trump met as president, and their January meeting was so cosy it was defined by the moment they held hands as they walked down a set the stairs together.

By December though things had fallen apart and May was forced, not for the first time, to publicly condemn him.

On the first anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, Britons could be forgiven for losing count of all the times the President has offended the UK in just 12 months. Thankfully, we haven’t forgotten… 

Happier times: Trump and May hold hands as they walk along The Colonnade of the West Wing at The White House” alt=”Happier times: Trump and May hold hands as they walk along The Colonnade of the West Wing at The White House” data-credit=”Christopher Furlong via Getty Images” data-portal-copyright=”Christopher Furlong via Getty Images” data-provider=”getty” data-provider-asset-id=”633265674″ data-has-syndication-rights=”true”>

1: January 2017 – Trump Signs The Travel Ban

Theresa May was just flying home from Washington when Trump signed an executive order banning travel to the US by citizens of seven Muslim countries. As chaos reigned at airports around the world and world leaders condemned the president, the PM stayed silent.

The Foreign Office feared it could affect Britons born in any of the seven countries, such as Somali-born Olympian Sir Mo Farah or Iraqi-born Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi, who called the order “a sad day for the USA”.

Five days after the order was signed, May finally told the Commons: “This government is clear that that policy is wrong. We wouldn’t do it. We believe it is divisive and wrong.”

All smiles: Trump and May at their January meeting. He signed the travel ban order just after she left Washington, shocking British politicians” alt=”All smiles: Trump and May at their January meeting. He signed the travel ban order just after she left Washington, shocking British politicians” data-credit=”PA Wire/PA Images” data-portal-copyright=”PA Wire/PA Images” data-provider=”pressassociation” data-provider-asset-id=”2.34454020″ data-has-syndication-rights=”false”>

2: February – Trump Slags Off The BBC

“Another beauty,” Trump said of the BBC when its reporter Jon Sopel rose to ask a question at a bizarre press conference in February. When Sopel responded the BBC was “free and fair”, Trump hit back: “Yeah, just like CNN.”

Given how much he hates the American broadcaster – he once tweeted a video of himself wrestling a CNN logo to the ground – that is about the worst insult the president could give to one of Britain’s premier cultural institutions.

Sopel joked he would get “another beauty” put on his business card and used the phrase as a promotional blurb on his book.

3: March – The White House Says GCHQ Spied On Trump Tower

In March, Trump sent a series of tweets claiming Barack Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower.

As the bizarre comment was repeated over several days, White House press secretary Sean Spicer repeated a media commentator’s claim that British intelligence agency GCHQ was behind it.

In a rare public statement, the agency called the claim “utterly ridiculous”. May’s spokesman later said the US Government had undertaken not to repeat it.

4: March – Donald Trump Jr Condemns Sadiq Khan

Hostility to the mayor of London is something Donald Trump Jr has in common with his dad.

And like his dad, Trump Jr attacked Sadiq Khan this year by taking remarks the mayor made after a London terror attack out of context.

Khan urged Londoners to be vigilant after the Westminster attack, saying such events were “part and parcel of living in a big city”. 

Trump Jr, who has been running his father’s business since the election, tweeted: “You have to be kidding me!?”

Labour MP Wes Streeting called Trump Jr a “disgrace” for the tweet.

5: June – Trump Says The London Bridge Attack Showed His Travel Ban Was Right – Before Anyone Knew What Was Going On

On the evening of June 3, news was breaking that a group of men had crashed a van into pedestrians and attacked people with knives, leaving eight people dead. Before the full picture was even close to emerging, Trump retweeted rightwing The Drudge Report’s claim that a van had “mowed down 20 people”.

Refocussing attention on himself, Trump then used the still-developing incident to promote his travel ban, which he was then fighting the courts to implement.

Moving down the priority list, Trump decided it would look statesmanlike to say something supportive.

6 – June – Sadiq Khan Is Slammed By A Trump For Trying To Reassure People. Again.

Like father, like son. Donald Trump hit out at Sadiq Khan, who had sought to reassure Londoners about the increased police presence that followed the London Bridge attack – the second terror incident in the capital in 2017.

Khan actually said: “Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. There’s no reason to be alarmed. One of the things the police and all of us need to do is ensure that we’re as safe as we possibly can be.

“I’m reassured that we are one of the safest global cities in the world, if not the safest global city, but we always evolve and review to make sure we’re as safe as we possibly can be.”

Four months after the hand holding, May and Trump met at the Nato summit in Brussels and looked less happy to see each other” alt=”Four months after the hand holding, May and Trump met at the Nato summit in Brussels and looked less happy to see each other” data-credit=”PA Wire/PA Images” data-portal-copyright=”PA Wire/PA Images” data-provider=”pressassociation” data-provider-asset-id=”2.34454038″ data-has-syndication-rights=”false”>

7 – Trump Then Calls Khan ‘Pathetic’

Khan’s spokesperson said he was “too busy” to respond to Trump’s “ill-informed” tweet that “deliberately too his remarks out of context”.

Trump gracefully bowed out and said nothing.

Until the next day.

In response, Khan said he had “better and more important things to focus on” than Trump’s tweets. 

8 – September – Trump Talks About Parsons Green Like He Knew More Than He Did

First there were reports of an explosion, then a stampede at a Tube station that injured many people. As police hunted for suspects, after three attacks in the UK that year, the hours after the Parsons Green incident were an anxious time in London. It was a time for politicians to speak out to calm people’s nerves.

“Another attack in London by a loser terrorist,” Trump tweeted. “These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard.”

By now, British authorities had got into the swing of responding to Trump.

“We don’t even know who the suspects are so it’s a bit difficult to say. It’s just speculation,” the Metropolitan Police said.

“I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on an ongoing investigation,” Theresa May said. 

“It’s never helpful to have speculation about an ongoing operation and I would include the president of the United States in that comment,” Home Secretary Amber Rudd said.

Six months after the hand holding in the White House, May looked more cautious about taking the president’s hand when they met in New York in September” alt=”Six months after the hand holding in the White House, May looked more cautious about taking the president’s hand when they met in New York in September” data-credit=”PA Wire/PA Images” data-portal-copyright=”PA Wire/PA Images” data-provider=”pressassociation” data-provider-asset-id=”2.34239338″ data-has-syndication-rights=”false”>

9: October – Trump Claims A Rise In Crime Is Down To ‘Radical Islamic Terror’

England and Wales saw a 13% rise in crime, official statistics showed in October. Rises in burglary and sexual offences had contributed to the increase. Any explanation of it had to acknowledge the complex issues behind crime recording.

Trump:

“It is appalling that we have reached the point where inflammatory and ignorant statements from the President of the United States are now seen as normal,” MP Yvette Cooper said amid the anger that followed.

Trump did not let go his claim that Britain is under threat from radical Islamists.

He found someone on Twitter saying something on the subject that obviously chimed with him…

10: November – He Retweets A Far Right Islamophobe

Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of the fringe far right group Britain First, tweeted three videos about Muslims depicting them as dangerous, with commentary that was heavily debunked.

Trump retweeted all of them.

As the world reeled from the endorsement, the White House said he shared the Britain First tweets because “the threat is real”.

This time, May didn’t have to wait to be asked what she thought. “It is wrong for the president to have done this,” she said. She added Britain First “cause anxiety to law-abiding people.

“British people overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far-right which is the antithesis of the values that this country represents: decency, tolerance and respect.”

11 – Trump Then Tells May To Mind Her Own Business

Sadiq Khan could have warned May what would come next. No one who criticises Trump in measured terms escapes his Twitter account.

“Don’t focus on me,” Trump said, suggesting instead she look at “Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom”.

“We are doing just fine!” said Trump with the nervous energy of someone who was clearly doing fine.

May did not respond.

12 – January 2018 – He Slags Off South London

It was at this point that Trump truly waded into a debate he did not grasp.

Last week, Trump said he wouldn’t come to open the new US embassy in Nine Elms because it was “off location” and the move from the building in Grosvenor Square was a “bad deal”.

So it definitely wasn’t the prospect of mass protests he is assured to face, whenever and however he came to the country.

“Donald won’t go south of the river,” was The Evening Standard’s front page.

“As a south Londoner, I take [Trump’s] comments about Nine Elms very personally,” Sadiq Khan later said.

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Young People With Intellectual Disabilities Take The Limelight… At Last

The media has a staggering influence on society and it fills me with hope that when it comes to those with intellectual disabilities (ID) – it is increasingly being used to challenge old beliefs, educate people and showcase the importance of inclusion and acceptance.

I am optimistic this will lead to a better future for everyone. We must ensure shocking statistics, such as that 8 in 10 people with ID experience bullying, are banished to the past. People without disabilities can learn so much from people with disabilities, just as people with disabilities can learn from those without – ID is no different.

The current mass of information available to people through multiple channels – TV, magazines, the internet and social media – does pose challenges, especially with the rise of ‘fake news’. However, it is important to acknowledge positive stories too!

Take the example of The A Word, which has just finished its second series on Tuesday nights on BBC One. This is a brilliant and entertaining drama with an incredibly important message.

It outlines the challenges that a family with an autistic child can face in everyday situations, not usually a subject which is candidly discussed. The first series resonated with me in a deeply personal way because my brother Will lives with Down syndrome. The programme gives the mainstream public an insight into the life of a family with a child who has an ID and helps create a sense of empathy. Moreover, it shows families with a child who has a disability that they are not alone in their experiences and highlights the importance of humour. It was great to see fans of the show commending its star Joe on social media for his excellent taste in music – proving they could look beyond his disability.

The title of this programme aptly highlights the hidden and unspoken nature of disabilities, but the content counteracts this by sending out a strong message about overcoming preconceived ideas. The drama is accurate, factual and the characters and scenarios are effectively portrayed – providing context to the behaviour of someone with an ID. This equips the public with more skills and understanding in everyday life which is so important and can be comforting for people who know someone with a disability. It breaks down stigma and fills gaps in knowledge present in the mainstream. I hope this is the starting point for TV dramas showcasing the potential in those with ID.

I know many people without ID do not know how to speak to or treat people with ID – often due to a lack of experience. The truth is you simply treat people how you wish to be treated, with kindness and patience, respect and dignity.

It’s not just TV that is embracing those with ID, River Island has also recently chosen a young model with Down’s Syndrome – I think this is amazing and shows that, really, people with disabilities are no different to those without. It highlights the equality that should exist in every walk of life and that looking ‘different’ can be just as beautiful as what is often perceived as the ‘desirable look’. It challenges society to rethink our values and the pursuit of ‘perfection’ – about time too! It is fantastic that River Island, a global business, is demonstrating the importance of inclusion and acceptance. This will show people that by being bold, inclusion is easy to achieve. Again, I hope this is the starting point for many brands to follow suit.

The recent Channel 4 documentary ‘Joy’ was a prime example of promoting inclusion and not discriminating. Joy was a play which ran at Theatre Royal Stratford East in October and November and had young people with Down syndrome and autism playing the leading roles. The documentary demonstrated that people with ID are capable of anything they set their minds to. You witness the true Joy both in those with ID and those without. This is due to everyone being included and accepted. The play highlights the capabilities of every individual with a disability and what they can achieve when given the platform. Director Melanie Fullbrook and lead actor Imogen Roberts – who has Down syndrome – have called for Imogen to play Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and I agree that this would be yet more welcome progress in the right direction.

I have similarly been part of a project using the stage to promote inclusion. The Play Unified campaign, a Special Olympics GB campaign delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, has been putting on an ‘It’s Our School Too!’ play across the UK which has been developed to share examples of real life scenarios in schools and highlight ways of better promoting inclusion. I have been participating in the play in my local area, Tadcaster in North Yorkshire, in order to shine a light on these important issues.

I also run a local swimming club called Stingrays which is going from strength to strength. We have 11 swimmers with ID and physical disabilities who are all rapidly improving their skills both in and out of the pool. We plan on attending our first Special Olympics gala in March. Giving the swimmers and parents this news was extremely heart-warming. Our swimmers have developed drive and ambition, something they have never had the opportunity to express before.

They also have the opportunity to achieve and show others their potential. Every swimmer has addressed their own personal challenges and is helping to break barriers in the understanding of others. It has been extraordinary to experience first-hand the positive effects that partaking in sport alongside other likeminded young people can have.

To this end I would urge people to get involved with the Play Unified campaign. It is the best initiative I have ever been involved with. It teaches students with and without ID the importance of friendship and acceptance. This is so important and equips young people with skills for life which will mean – although we have a way to go – a unified generation will eventually be created where everyone is accepted and valued equally.

Two years in, it has impacted more than 30,000 young people in the UK already and continues to make great strides towards acceptance and inclusion in schools and communities.

As a nation, we are moving in the right direction, but hope 2018 will be the year we see real, significant and meaningful change for those with ID.

For more information on the Play Unified campaign, click here

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One Year On From Trump’s Inauguration We Want To Fight The Racism He Spouts

So Donald Trump has cancelled his planned visit to Britain in February. He blamed the deal Barack Obama cut on the building of the US embassy. But we all know that Trump is running scared of the scale of protest his visit would ignite.

Millions of ordinary people were outraged by Theresa May’s offer of a state visit to Donald Trump. Trump has overstepped every line of acceptable political practice. 

That’s why if he comes to Britain at any point he will undoubtedly face one of the biggest demonstration in this country’s history.

The most powerful politician on the face of the earth is using his position to promote conflict, division and racism. In a recent meeting Trump said he didn’t want people from “shithole countries” such as Haiti and in Africa coming to the US and wanted more from countries such as Norway.

From climate change denial to his nuclear brinkmanship with North Korea Trump is marking the world a more and more dangerous place on a daily basis. The death of Heather Heyer at Charlottesville and Trump’s response to the violent marches by the alt-right and the KKK summed up just how close his flirtations with the racist and fascist right go.

While Trump himself is not attempting to build a Nazi-style movement he is not averse to leaning on the ‘Alt-right’ for support in times of trouble. He may now have fallen out with Steve Bannon but Trump stood up for the ‘good people’ that had marched with burning torches shouting ‘Jews will not replace us’.

Trump called time and again during his campaign for the building of a wall to keep out Mexican migrants. This demand was a direct property grab from the policies of the Tea Party. 

Some argued the ‘build a wall’ call was just rhetoric, simply a device to stir up the crowd. But now Trump is seeking $18billion funding to actually build the barrier. In the face of mass protests and a series of legal challenges he’s also continued to force through a version of his ‘Muslim Ban’ leaving the Muslim community in the US targeted as an enemy within. 

The truth is that while Trump can’t deliver on his promises to make life better for those Americans that feel ‘left behind’ he can continue to give the disaffected scapegoats for their problems, migrants, refugees and Muslims. 

Trumps out and out Islamophobia has legitimised the targeting of the Muslim community while laying the ground for older forms of racism. The open antisemitism at Charlottesville has been matched by Trump’s open hostility to the Black Lives Matter movement and the ‘take a knee’ protests in the NFL show that Trump’s racism is general, not simply aimed at the Muslim community. 

Trump’s politics and behaviour are part of the wider growth of the populist racist and fascist right. Last year saw the fascist Marine Le Pen come in second place in the French Presidential elections – and take over 10.5 million votes.

Now we have the entry of The Freedom Party into Austrian government. 

The election of 94 far right AfD MPs into the German Bunderstag was truly shocking.  As negotiations to form a German government continue the AfD could end up as the official opposition! 

In Warsaw, Poland, at the end of last year 60,000 people marched behind far right banners calling for a white Europe. Trump’s example is an inspiration to all these racist movements. 

Stand Up To Racism is working with many other organisations to plan a suitable reception for Donald Trump if his visit goes ahead later this year. One year on from his inauguration we want to highlight the racism at the height of the Trump administration. 

That’s why we’ve called for ‘knock down the racist wall’ events all across the country on Saturday 20 January and why we’ll be ‘knocking down the wall’ outside the new American embassy in South London from 2pm.

And at the centre of our mass demonstrations in London, Cardiff and Glasgow on Saturday 17 March to mark UN anti-racism day, will be opposition to Trump’s politics. 

These anti-racist demonstrations are being co-ordinated with other major protests across Europe and in the US. After 10 years of austerity while Trump hands out trillions of dollars to the rich he wants ordinary people to blame each other for our problems not the bankers and politicians who caused the crisis. 

We want to build a mass movement against racism that beats back the growth of the racist right and and isolates the ideas Trump seeks to make acceptable.  

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We Cannot Take This Government’s Word That Our Rights Will Be Protected Through Brexit

The Government’s decision to vote against guaranteeing the protection of key rights during the passage of the European Union Withdrawal Bill is deeply disappointing. 

The EU currently provides vital protections against discrimination for women in the UK. In its current form, the bill will hand huge and unaccountable power to Government ministers to undermine these protections and change equality laws without proper parliamentary scrutiny. This is unacceptable.

Under this Government that means one thing – the rights of women, ethnic minority communities, LGBT+ communities, disabled people and others will be at risk. This is unacceptable.

Labour’s amendment to the bill sought to guarantee the rights of all those who are at risk from this Government’s reckless approach to Brexit. It would have ensured that Government ministers are not able to use unaccountable powers to erode the rights of people in our society.

We don’t trust the Tories to look after the rights of women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and other groups post-Brexit. Despite promising to tackle the burning injustices in society, Theresa May has burdened women with a shocking 86% of her Government’s cuts. Under her watch Employment Tribunal Fees penalised women and ethnic minority communities the most.  Pregnancy and maternity discrimination claims alone fell by 45%, before the fees were found to be unlawful by the Supreme Court.

We don’t trust the Tories to look after the rights of women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and other groups post-Brexit

Having witnessed this damage and the Government’s record of failure, we cannot just take their word that rights will be protected. Their actions have proven that they are not trustworthy. We need it enshrined into law. People deserve to have confidence that their hard-fought rights will be as strong as ever post-Brexit.

Time and time again organisations such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, Fawcett Society and many others have warned that the bill lacks sufficient safeguards against losing these protections.

Labour’s approach is the right one. From the beginning we have been consistent in fighting for a jobs-first Brexit, which protects not only the economy but also human rights and workers’ rights for all. Our positive and progressive agenda clearly demonstrates the type of country we want to live in.

The Government has continuously stated that they do not wish to see fundamental rights and freedoms weakened after Brexit. Yet when they had the opportunity to prove it, they failed that test by voting against our amendment.

This Government and this Prime Minister are all talk, no action, and cannot be trusted with people’s rights. But Labour will not give up the fight.

Dawn Butler is the shadow women and equalities secretary and Labour MP for Brent Central

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