Conversations in people’s own homes could be caught by Scotland’s draconian new hate crimes bill.
Meanwhile in England, a review of hate crimes legislation is calling for similar laws south of the border.
The Scottish proposals have been championed by Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf.
But free speech campaigners says the plans are lacking a crucial safeguard – available in other laws – which protects conversations in the home.
Humza Yousaf, however, is refusing to provide a ‘dwelling defence’, insisting that ‘hateful speech’ in the home deserves to be criminalised.
In England, the Law Commission has laid out its plans to lower the threshold for hate crimes to be committed.
The Commission, which advises the government, believes the ‘dwelling defence’ should be removed.
If so, Christian conversations in the home about a range of controversial topics could become illegal.
Barrister Sarah Phillimore said, ‘I cannot believe the government is being asked to consider surveillance of citizens in their own home.
‘How will the evidence of such hate crimes be collected? Will we have an East German-style secret police like the Stasi?’