Pullman and Hytner lead calls for blasphemy law repeal

English PEN has brought together a number of big names for a campaign to repeal the UK’s outdated blasphemy law. Phillip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, and Nicholas Hytner, the director of the National Theatre, are spearheading the campaign.

Pullman states that blasphemy laws have no place in modern Britain:

Exactly the wrong response would be to extend them to cover other religions. Where would you stop? The right response would be to repeal them altogether and let religion, like every other form of human thought, take its chance in free, open debate.


Parliament has reaffirmed its attachment to freedom of expression and has slapped down a Government that has been too ready to sacrifice it. The Government should demonstrate its stated opposition to religious discrimination by repealing the blasphemy laws.

Even the Church of England has voiced support, saying the blasphemy law is a “dead letter”.

(From The Times, with thanks to Andrew)

2 Responses to “Pullman and Hytner lead calls for blasphemy law repeal”

  1. Dan Factor says:

    They should repel this law. The law is there to protect us from crime not prosecute us for slagging off relegion.

  2. Marc Draco says:

    In spite of all of Holy Tony’s reforms, it’s about time the government remembered this is secular state where only about 10% of people actively follow some faith.

    We should not only repeal the blasphemy law, but remove all religious priveledge including the requirement for an assembly in schools which is not only outdated and outmoded, but also allows the ridiculous bigots like Peter Vardy to prey on children’s minds.