A LABOUR shadow cabinet member has said that the party would not introduce a Scottish style hate crime law if it wins the next General Election.

The new Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act has been criticised for constraining free speech and has led the author JK Rowling to challenge police to arrest her over her views on transgender issues.

Pat McFadden, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster told GB News: “I don’t think she should be arrested. That’s pretty clear. We are not planning to create new crimes in this area.

“We want proper enforcement of the anti-hate crime laws that are there and make sure that the right penalties are in place to protect people.

“We’re not planning to legislate for new crimes in this area and I don’t think JK Rowling should be arrested.”

In a discussion with Eamonn Holmes and Ellie Costello, he continued: “It’s a law passed by the Scottish Parliament. I thought it was slightly strange that they didn’t include women in the law.

“They’ve included a number of other categories…that seems like something that should be addressed.”

McFadden denied the party had a problem following the resignation of 20 Labour councillors in Lancashire in protest at Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership of the party.

He said: “I think we’re doing quite well. I’m certainly not complacent. But my focus is on the 2,000 plus Labour candidates that will be standing in the local elections in a few weeks’ time and all our Labour mayoral candidates that are standing around the country.

“Every vote cast for them is a vote that brings us a bit closer to getting rid of the Tories when that General Election comes, as well as getting good Labour councils elected on the second of May.

“I always regret if someone leaves but the truth is we’ve made enormous progress under Keir Starmer’s leadership.”

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