Media

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, 23, is trolled on social media for supporting Conservative friend who is running to be Oxford University president

[Free Speech Union] general secretary, Toby Young, told MailOnline: “I’m afraid this vile abuse is typical of the way conservative students are treated in universities every day. Universities need to do more to educate their students about the importance of free speech and tolerating different points of view. Too often, university authorities exhibit the same intolerance towards conservatives, putting them through disciplinary processes and accusing them of ‘hate speech’ just for daring to challenge woke orthodoxies about race and gender.”

Jack Wright, MailOnline, 16th October 2020.

Darren Grimes Speaks Out on Police Investigation

“By the way I’d be lost if it wasn’t for the Free Speech Union. What a fantastic idea – and quite an important one, as it turns out.”

Konstantin Kisin and Francis Foster interview Darren Grimes, Triggonometry, 12th October 2020.

David Starkey inquiry on hold after public backlash over free speech

Toby Young, general secretary of the Free Speech Union, who has supported Mr Grimes, said he was alarmed that the police embarked on the “witch-hunt”. He said: “Dr David Starkey’s words never came anywhere near meeting the threshold for stirring up racial hatred, let alone Darren Grimes’s decision to broadcast them. If you don’t stick up for the speech rights of contrarians – even those who offend people – the authorities will eventually come after you.”

Fiona Hamilton and Emma Yeomans, The Times, 15th October 2020.

Police Likely to Cancel Grimes Investigation on Grounds of “Proportionality”

Reading between the lines it looks like the Met are looking to get off this high horse without losing face. Though Darren is naturally cautious after the twists and turns of his 4 year battle with the Electoral Commission. The Free Speech Union was able to find a top criminal solicitor to defend Darren and helped galvanise support across the media and in Government. Toby Young, general secretary of the Free Speech Union, tells Guido that he is “relieved that this is over, but alarmed that the police embarked on this witch-hunt in the first place. Starkey’s words never came anywhere near meeting the threshold for stirring up racial hatred, let alone Darren Grime’s decision to broadcast them.”

Guido Fawkes, 15th October 2020.

Police are set to review “race hate” probe into journalist Darren Grimes and David Starkey to ensure it is “proportionate” after historian’s “damn blacks” comment during YouTube interview

Toby Young, general secretary of the Free Speech Union, said: “I’m relieved that this is over, but alarmed that the police embarked on this witch-hunt in the first place… Everyone should be defending the right to free speech, not just those on the frontline. If you don’t stick up for the speech rights of contrarians – even those who offend people – the authorities will eventually come after you.”

Luke May and Jack Wright, MailOnline, 15th October 2020.

Darren Grimes is being investigated for stirring up racial hatred – and that’s patently absurd

The Free Speech Union has found a top criminal solicitor to represent Darren, who’s a member of the FSU, in the form of Luke Gittos, who is so outraged by this attack on free speech that he has taken on the case pro bono. He says: “This is an unprecedented use of public order legislation to target a member of the broadcast media. It should concern anyone who believes in freedom of the press.”

Toby Young, The Sunday Telegraph, 11th October 2020.

Sajid Javid and Tim Farron lead backlash against Met Police over its probe into Pro-Brexit pundit Darren Grimes after David Starkey used term “damn blacks” in YouTube interview

Toby Young, general secretary of the Free Speech Union, told MailOnline: “Almost everyone has rightly condemned this grotesque assault on the freedom of the press, including an ex-Home Secretary. I hope the Met recognises that it’s made a silly mistake and drops this investigation immediately.”

Jack Wright for MailOnline and Kamal Sultan for The Daily Mail, 10th October 2020.

Darren Grimes under police investigation after David Starkey interview

Mr Young questioned whether journalists would now be arrested over comments made by their interviewees and asked if similar action was being taken against a Sky News presenter who was interviewing the rapper Wiley when he made offensive comments about Jewish people. He added: “In a free and democratic society, it is paramount that journalists and broadcasters are permitted to interview a wide range of people, including those likely to make controversial remarks. Threatening them with arrest if their interviewees say something offensive will have a chilling effect on free speech, which is the lifeblood of democracy.”

Hayley Dixon, The Daily Telegraph, 9th October 2020.

The free speech crisis

Many people deny the existence of cancel culture, but when people can be hounded from jobs for expressing certain views, a proper debate is needed on the future of free speech. ThinkTent, together with the Free Speech Union, hosts a discussion about the rise of intolerance for differing viewpoints, how it affects different walks of life, and asks what can be done to turn back the tide.

Mark Littlewood chairs a discussion with Inaya Folarin Iman, Laurence Fox and Toby Young, Think Tent, 5th October 2020.

The creep of internet censorship

Kristie’s treatment is obviously deeply concerning for believers in free speech, but there’s another aspect of her case that worries me. […] The Free Speech Union has just produced a briefing paper warning of the dire consequences for free speech if the government’s internet censorship plans become law, and I urge you to read it. Soon, it won’t just be Kristie Higgs who is punished for challenging woke dogma. It will be all of us.

Toby Young, The Spectator, magazine issue of 26th September 2020.