Statement on the invitation of Tapan Ghosh to speak in the House of Commons

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The need for robust due diligence procedures and consistency when hosting or sharing platforms in Parliament

Inspire deplores last week’s event “Tolerating the Intolerant” hosted by Rt Hon Bob Blackman MP on the 18th of October 2017, which was addressed by the anti-Muslim extremist Tapan Ghosh in the House of Commons. Whilst we welcome Bob Blackman’s statement that he does not endorse Mr Ghosh’s views, it remains the case, as can be seen on Mr Ghosh’s website, that the event was used by Mr Ghosh to give himself a level of credibility and legitimacy he would not have otherwise had.  As a counter-extremism organisation committed to working towards building a pluralistic and tolerant society, we are deeply concerned to see such an individual invited to speak in Parliament

We urge MPs to ensure they have robust due diligence procedures which are fit for purpose when deciding who to host, invite or share platforms with and be consistent in their approach. Just as an MP would not have invited far right anti-Muslim activist Tommy Robinson to speak at Parliamentary events, they should not invite anyone who promotes extremist views regardless of their nationality or religion.

As our society struggles to deal with all forms of extremism, it is imperative that MPs do not legitimise groups and individuals who seek to divide us and attempt to undermine the very fabric of our society.  We will also be writing to the Charity Commission to register our complaint against the National Council of Hindu Temples who invited Tapan Ghosh as a key speaker.

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