The recent vigil on Clapham Common was our chance to come together and grieve the loss of Sarah Everard's life. Our chance to mourn the lives of the women lost to violence. And it was a chance to mourn our own lived experiences. I share the frustrations and disappointment felt over police action taken that day.
In light of events at Clapham Common, I know many are concerned about the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and what this divisive law would mean for the right to protest.
I want to be clear: Tonight, I will be voting against this Bill.
I believe that the Government has undermined this Bill through draconian measures that impose disproportionate controls on free expression and the right to protest. I believe these measures will have an unfair impact on Black, Asian, and ethnic minority people. I also believe 10 year sentences for crimes against statues – significantly longer than the sentences for crimes which disproportionately impact women – is a worrying priority.
Under this Government, rape convictions have fallen to an all-time low, delays in the Crown Courts are at an all-time high, and justice is not being served for thousands of women and girls. This is now the time for the Government to correct their woeful record and commit to putting in place long overdue protections for women.