Labour to press for legislation to protect women and girls after Everard killing

Labour leader Keir Starmer gives media interviews outside a vaccine centre at the EICC in Edinburgh,

Labour leader Keir Starmer gives media interviews outside a vaccine centre at the EICC in Edinburgh, Scotland - Credit: PA

Labour is preparing to heap pressure on Boris Johnson to act in the wake of the killing of Sarah Everard by pledging legislation to protect women and girls.

Keir Starmer is planning to use what he believes is a watershed moment to press for the harassment of women on the street to become an offence and a lengthening of sentences for rapists and stalkers.

The Labour leader used an interview to claim that it is “astonishing that in 2021 we do not have a comprehensive piece of legislation”.

The plan was seen as a challenge to the prime minister, who is yet to publish his strategy to tackle violence against women and girls.

Under Labour’s plans, the law would also end the injustice of lower sentences for domestic murders.

And it would introduce “whole life” sentences for anyone convicted of the abduction, sexual assault and murder of a stranger.

Labour was planning to set out further detail in the coming weeks, but one route for them would be to introduce the proposals in a Bill during an opposition day debate.

Most Read

Sir Keir has compared the killing of Ms Everard to watershed moments such as the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

“This could be a chance to actually do something,” the Labour leader told the Sunday Times.

“It is astonishing that in 2021 we do not have a comprehensive piece of legislation. The more I turn it over in my mind, the more obvious it is.”

The prime minister’s own plans are expected by the end of the year.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a Supporter