MP reacts to local arts funding and also hate crime figures

Congratulations has been extended by Bath MP Wera Hobhouse to a number of the city’s iconic arts organisations which have received a total of £2.2m from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

It’ll help organisations and groups like the Theatre Royal, Holburne Museum and Komedia to face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future.  

She said: 

“This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our city. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.  

“I have been lucky enough to work with many of these outstanding organisations, most of whom came together at the local arts conference I hosted in February. This gathering helped generate fruitful conversations and collaborations that have continued ever since. Our arts community provides a beacon of hope for the future of our city, and I’m glad that the government has listened to the calls for support that I and many others have been making in Parliament. 

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:  

“Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.” 

Meanwhile, as Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Ms Hobhouse is leading the party’s call on anyone “with the privilege of a public platform – including Government Ministers” to “condemn the irresponsible and divisive rhetoric that inflames hatred”, as new official figures show hate crimes have risen to a new record high.

The Home Office figures, released today, show that:

  • 105,090 hate crimes were recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2019-20 – a new record high.
  • There was a particularly big increase in hate crimes against LGBT+ people, with a 19% year-on-year increase in sexual orientation-based hate crimes and an 18% increase in transphobic hate crimes.
  • There was a big spike in the number of racially- and religiously-motivated hate crimes in June and July 2020.
Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath.

Responding to the figures, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse said:

“Far too many people’s lives are blighted by discrimination, hatred and abuse. It is unacceptable that, in the 21st century, people are still victimised simply for who they are.

“The rise in racist hate crimes and hate crimes against LGBT+ people must be stopped and reversed. All of us with the privilege of a public platform – including Government Ministers – have a responsibility to condemn the irresponsible and divisive rhetoric that inflames hatred.

“The Liberal Democrats will always stand firm against hate. We must bring people together to build a society where we celebrate diversity and where everyone feels safe and secure, able to be who they are, and live the life they choose.”

The Home Office report Hate crime, England and Wales, 2019 to 2020, published today, are available here.