Amber Rudd's speech to the 2016 Conservative Party conference has been recorded as a "non-crime hate incident" by West Midlands Police (WMP). The force found no evidence that a crime had been committed after a University of Oxford professor reported the speech to police last October.
In her maiden conference performance as home secretary, Rudd announced headline-grabbing proposals to regulate the number of foreigners in the UK workforce and put pressure on firms to hire native employees rather than immigrants.
The plans sparked controversy and were compared by some to passages of Hitler's Mein Kampf. The conference took place against the backdrop of Britain's vote to leave the European Union and the spike in reported hate crime which followed it. After days of mounting criticism, the proposals were abandoned by the Government.
Joshua Silver, a professor of physics at Oxford, reported the speech given in Birmingham, to WMP. He told the Times: "I felt politicians have been using hate speech to turn Britons against foreigners, and I thought that is probably not lawful."
WMP has now concluded its investigation and found that there was no evidence to support a hate crime. Recording standards oblige the force to classify the event as a "non-crime hate incident".
A Home Office spokesperson said: "This was not a hate crime. The home secretary has been crystal clear that hatred has absolutely no place in a Britain that works for everyone. She's made countering hate one of her key priorities, indeed one of the first public interventions she made was to launch the Hate Crime Action Plan."
The plan was Rudd's response to a sharp spike in recorded hate crime and a slew of anecdotal evidence of incidents in the days and weeks after Britain's EU membership referendum. It is a multi-pronged strategy that attempts both to prevent hate crime and improve policing standards around the issue.
In her speech to the Birmingham conference, Rudd said: "British businesses have driven the economic recovery in this country, with employment at record levels. However, we still need to do more ... so all British people get the opportunities they need to get on in life. The test should ensure people coming here are filling gaps in the labour market, not taking jobs British people could do."
LBC presenter James O'Brien equated the speech with a section of Hitler's Mein Kampf, which he read out on his radio show in October: "For the state should draw the sharp line of distinction between those who, as members of the nation, are the foundation and support of its existence and greatness, and those who are domiciled simply as earners of their livelihoods of there."
Recorded hate crime had been rising sharply in Britain even before the Brexit referendum. Research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism showed that, despite increasing levels of hate crime between 2014/15 and 2015/16, police and prosecutors were taking less action against offenders.