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British commentator Darren Grimes faces police investigation after interviewing historian David Starkey

The actions of UK police when it comes to speech are taking an increasingly chilling turn.
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The British political commentator, Darren Grimes, is now being investigated by the police after a controversial podcast interview with the historian David Starkey.

Starkey’s comments attracted intense backlash and contempt as soon as the video was released. The historian, in the interview, said that slavery was not similar to genocide because there are “so many damn blacks.”

However, Grimes was only interviewing Starkey when Starkey made the extremely controversial comment – and yet it’s Grimes that’s now being investigated by London’s Metropolitan Police, not Starkey.

Grimes, disgruntled that the police are investigating him over comments made by the host, said that the whole affair is an “abuse of taxpayer’s money.”

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The Telegraph reported, it was found that Grimes is currently being accused of “stirring up racial hatred” as he published the interview featuring Starkey on his podcast.

The conservative political commentator released a statement saying that the police were more focused on investigating “vexatious” claims with taxpayers’ money. “At a time when many in our country are facing uncertainty and financial hardship, I cannot imagine a more contemptible way for the Metropolitan Police to abuse taxpayers’ money and the trust of citizens then by investigating this vexatious claim.”

He also said that the whole ordeal and the possibility of his arrest due to the allegations against him can stifle free speech and expression. Luke Gittos, his lawyer, also spoke along the same lines and said that the investigation is an “unprecedented use of Public Order legislation.”

The Free Speech Union has come to Grimes’s support and called out the accusation against him to be “absurd.”

“The only hatred Dr Starkey stirred up was against himself. Mr Grimes himself publicly apologised for having broadcast Dr Starkey’s remarks, saying that he ‘should have robustly questioned Dr Starkey about his comments,’” said Toby Young, the General Secretary of Free Speech Union.

“Plainly, Mr Grimes would never have made this announcement if he had intended to stir up racial hatred in the course of a broadcast only days earlier.”

Young also went on to ask if journalists would be arrested for the comments made by the individuals being interviewed. “Threatening them with arrest if their interviewees say something offensive will have a chilling effect on free speech, which is the lifeblood of democracy.”

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