JK Rowling challenges police to arrest her in hate crime law row as Rishi Sunak weighs in

By Staff

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has backed JK Rowling, saying she should not criminalised “for stating simple facts on biology”. It comes as the Harry Potter author seemingly challenged police to arrest her after vocalising her criticism of new Scottish hate crime laws.

Scotland’s Hate Crime and Public Order Act came into effect on Monday (April 1), consolidating existing hate crime legislation and creating a new offence of stirring up hatred against protected characteristics. Rowling took to social media to share her thoughts on the new law.

She insisted the new legislation is “wide open to abuse by activists who wish to silence those of us speaking out about the dangers of eliminating women’s and girls’ single-sex spaces”.

The Gloucestershire-born author added: “It is impossible to accurately describe or tackle the reality of violence and sexual violence committed against women and girls. or address the current assault on women’s and girls’ rights, unless we are allowed to call a man a man.”

Women have not been given protection under the law. The Scottish Government is instead promising to bring forward legislation to tackle misogyny.

But with the new Act giving protection to transgender people, Rowling – who does not believe people can change their gender – insisted: “Freedom of speech and belief are at an end in Scotland if the accurate description of biological sex is deemed criminal.”

The writer, who lives in Edinburgh, also seemingly challenge police to arrest her should they deem her social media posts break the new ruling. “I’m currently out of the country,” she said.

“But if what I’ve written here qualifies as an offence under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment.”

Although Prime Minister Rishi Sunak did not comment on whether he supported her approach, Mr Sunak did say his party will “always protect” free speech.

In a statement given to The Daily Telegraph, he added: “People should not be criminalised for stating simple facts on biology. We believe in free speech in this country, and Conservatives will always protect it.”

Meanwhile, Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf said he is “very proud” of the new laws. He argued they will help protect against a “rising tide” of hatred.

This isn’t the first time Rowling has made headline for her views. Since December 2019, she gained widespread media attention for her views on transgender issues. Rowling, 58, has always strongly denied being transphobic.

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