New Home Secretary no friend of free speech

May 1, 2018

Sajid Javid

We need to be very vigilant on free speech, particularly so given that Sajid Javid is the new Home Secretary.

It was Mr Javid who backed the incredibly daft idea of stopping extremism by getting all politicians and public sector workers to swear an equality oath.

Thankfully the idea, first drawn up by former integration tsar Dame Louise Casey, has now been dropped. But the fact that Mr Javid was “drawn” to her proposals (his words) shows a pretty poor understanding of free speech. This proposal would have turned the clock back 300 years to the dark days of the Test and Corporation Acts. A time when only card-carrying Anglicans could serve in public life.

Now he holds one of the great offices of state, and the one which will take the lead on ‘extremism’. We will be paying close attention to the words, and the deeds, of Mr Javid.