Commenting on the Conservatives’ plans to introduce banning orders, Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake said:
“Liberal Democrats blocked Theresa May’s plans for banning orders on three different occasions.
“If she has just re-heated her original proposals, they are ill thought through, illiberal and will not tackle the problem they are supposedly designed to solve.
“Banning orders will undermine existing efforts to engage with communities and run the serious risk of criminalising legitimate groups who have a right to speak out against the government.
“It risks being a licence to silence any opinion the government doesn’t like.
“Extreme views are best defeated by free speech. There is a strong public interest in winning the argument and exposing extremists and bigots for what they are, not making heroes of them by driving them underground where they will continue to thrive in the darker corners of the internet.“