Free speech campaigners celebrate as city officials drop controversial ban on swearing in public

Free speech campaigners celebrate as city officials drop controversial ban on swearing in public

Free speech campaigners were celebrating last night after a city council dropped its much-maligned swearing ban. A public spaces protection order forb

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Free speech campaigners were celebrating last night after a city council dropped its much-maligned swearing ban.

A public spaces protection order forbade ‘foul and abusive’ language being used in Salford under moves to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Offenders faced a £90 fine but no penalties have been imposed since the introduction of the ban in 2016.

A public spaces protection order introduced in 2016, which forbade ‘foul and abusive’ language being used in Salford under moves to tackle antisocial behaviour, has been reversed (file image)

A public spaces protection order introduced in 2016, which forbade ‘foul and abusive’ language being used in Salford under moves to tackle antisocial behaviour, has been reversed (file image)

A public spaces protection order introduced in 2016, which forbade ‘foul and abusive’ language being used in Salford under moves to tackle antisocial behaviour, has been reversed (file image)

Comedian Mark Thomas defied the swearing ban during a show at The Lowry arts centre

Comedian Mark Thomas defied the swearing ban during a show at The Lowry arts centre

Comedian Mark Thomas defied the swearing ban during a show at The Lowry arts centre 

Myles Jackman, a solicitor who specialises in obscenity law, told The Times the reversal was a ‘victory for common sense’ and for free speech rights under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

He added: ‘That really was an example of post-Orwellian Britain.’

Comedian Mark Thomas defied the swearing ban during a show at The Lowry arts centre. 

He encouraged his audience to join in and collected £400 in a swear box to pay the fines of anyone charged. He pledged to give the cash to charity.

Public space protection orders have been implemented by eight other councils to curb swearing.

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