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MP's comments no longer logged as hate incident

The police have told a Conservative MP her comments about a Green Party rival would no longer be recorded as a hate incident.

In December, Rachel Maclean, who represents Redditch, reshared a post on X, which commented on then Bromsgrove Green Party candidate Melissa Poulton.

West Mercia Police logged the comments as a "non-crime hate incident" (NCHI), but were successfully challenged by Mrs Maclean and the Free Speech Union.

It has been determined that the incident did not meet the definition of an ‘incident’, police said in a letter to Ms Maclean.

After being asked to review their classification of the incident, West Mercia Police wrote to the Free Speech Union and said it had taken advice from its legal department and Force Crime and Incident Registrar.

As a consequence, it said: "It has been determined that the incident did not meet the definition of an ‘incident’ as defined by the National Standard for Incident Recording."

Therefore, it decided to remove the record of a hate incident and the personal details relating to it, from West Mercia Police systems.

The post had described Bromsgrove Green Party candidate Melissa Poulton as "a man who wears a wig and calls himself a 'proud lesbian'".

In sharing the post by another user, Mrs Maclean commented: "While the Greens don't know what a woman is, my Worcestershire neighbours the people of Bromsgrove certainly do."

Reacting to the news on X on Wednesday, Mrs Maclean said: "I am pleased to see this ridiculous “hate incident” has been thrown out and all records removed from police database.

"What a total distraction from policing."

She also said: "I will not stop speaking up on behalf of all women and men who feel gaslighted by those who would deny the biological reality and scientific truth that is staring them in the face.

"While being respectful to all individuals undergoing processes, we must also be clear about facts."

West Mercia Police has been approached for further comment.

The recording of NCHIs stem from the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993.

According to the government, they are used to collect information on "hate incidents" that could escalate into more serious harm, but in themselves do not constitute a criminal offence.

The Free Speech Union is an organisation set up in 2020 and which defends freedom of expression.

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