'A businessman investigated by police over a poem about transgenderism is launching a landmark High Court case to overhaul the official rules on hate crimes.
Harry Miller is to seek a ‘judicial review’ of the hate crime guidelines followed by police forces across Britain, claiming they are ‘unlawful’ because they ‘inhibit freedom of expression’.
The 54-year-old company boss, who is a former policeman, argues that the current guidance, published by the College of Policing in 2014, the body responsible for training officers, ‘promotes the recording of hate incidents’.
His legal team have highlighted a clause in the rules that state such incidents must be recorded by officers ‘irrespective of any evidence to identify the hate element’.
Mr Miller, chairman of a machinery company at Immingham Port, is also challenging a decision by Humberside Police to record his re-tweeting of the poem as a hate incident – despite officers concluding that no crime had been committed.
The businessman was quizzed by Humberside Police in January after posting the verse about men who transition to be women, which included the lines: ‘You’re a man … And we can tell the difference … Your hormones are synthetic’.
He claims he received a call from an officer telling him that someone ‘down south’ had sent the force 30 of Mr Miller’s tweets, which they alleged to be transphobic, and informing him ‘we need to check your thinking’ - a comment police later denied making .
The father-of-three said he was ‘dumbfounded’ by the exchange and ‘furious’ when he found out that his sharing of the verse had been recorded as a ‘hate incident’.
One of his three daughters – who is a police officer – was then told by a senior officer at Humberside that the force were continuing to monitor her father and mother’s Twitter accounts.
And, despite his repeated requests, he claims police refused to disclose to him what the 30 ‘transphobic’ tweets actually said.
Last night Mr Miller defended his tweets, saying he had wanted to highlight the dangers posed to women by Government proposals allowing males who have not undergone any medical treatment to ‘self-identify’ as female.
Explaining his reasons for launching legal action, the businessman told the Mail on Sunday: ‘This case is not about being allowed to say anything I want, to anyone without consequence.
‘It is about the ability to have freedom of speech within the law and being allowed to have a debate without one group being able to call on the police to shut another group down.'
Read more: Businessman, 54, investigated by police over Twitter poem about transgender people launches a landmark High Court battle to overhaul official rules on hate crimes
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