Mrs Bercow and Migrationwatch

October 07, 2010

In a discussion programme on Sky News on 18 August, Mrs Bercow associated Migrationwatch with Mosley and Hitler. When we heard about this, we asked for a copy of the programme and obtained a transcript of precisely what she had said. After taking advice from counsel we asked our solicitors to write to her seeking an apology and an undertaking not to repeat such an allegation. In their response, solicitors for Mrs Bercow said that she "did not intend to (and did not) allege that Migrationwatch is a fascist or racist organisation", that she was expressing an honest opinion about the handling of a Migrationwatch report by the Daily Express and that she had a right to do so in a democratic society.

Migrationwatch are strongly in favour of free speech. We accept her assurances about her intentions, and consider that important and sensitive issues such as immigration should be debated without descending into derogatory language and associations.

In view of the assurance contained in her solicitor’s letter, we do not intend to take the matter further.

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