On 28th February, Mary used a Home Office question to highlight the hypocrisy of the Government on their stance on Gypsy, Roma, Traveller racism.
After the outpouring of condemnation towards comedian Jimmy Carr, after his ‘joke’ about the positives of Gypsy genocide in WW2, Mary questioned Home Office Minister Rachel Maclean about the hypocrisy of a Government who condemns Carr’s racism, yet pushes through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which by the Government’s own assessments “justly” discriminates against GRT communities. The question came on the day when the Government’s PCSC Bill returns to the Commons to debate the Lords’ Amendments, many of which the Government are tipped to reject.
Mary asked the minister:
Following the Government’s welcome criticism of Jimmy Carr’s abhorrent joke celebrating the genocide of Roma and Sinti people, the Traveller Movement said that if the Government was serious about reducing discrimination against GRT communities then they would scrap the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill. Does the Home Secretary accept that it’s hypocritical for ministers to condemn racism from others while pushing through a Bill which its own impact assessments confirm will discriminate against Gypsies, Roma and Travellers?
The minister responded:
Well I’m afraid the Hon. Lady is completely wrong about the bill. This is an absolutely vital bill to keep the public safe and protect them from sex offenders, violent rapists, and other criminals. The comments that she references were horrible and it’s clearly unacceptable to mock victims of genocide. We are clear that all forms of hate speech are unacceptable.
Despite what some may argue was a ‘none answer’, Mary remains committed to holding the Government to account and standing up for the most marginal in society.