Fringe Box



Letter: Our MP Has a Partial Memory of Her Party’s Track Record

Published on: 25 May, 2023
Updated on: 25 May, 2023

Angela Richardson MP

From: Sam Peters

candidate for the Green Party in the recent GBC Election

In response to: Guildford’s MP Has More Success with PMQs and Calls for Pennies to be Spent on Keeping Toilets Open

Has Guildford’s MP forgotten that since 2010, her party has cut local council funding by 60 per cent on average – funding that usually accounts for around half a council’s budget? Has she forgotten that local councils are still dealing with a £4 billion Covid funding shortfall?

In all her talk about protecting women and girls, surely she hasn’t also forgotten that women and girls have borne 86 per cent of the burden of Conservative austerity, as revealed by Commons figures? Or that her party cut 27,000 police staff since 2010 – and in their desperate scramble to recruit 20,000 new police for a political headline, have cut vetting standards to the point that individuals charged or convicted of violent assaults, domestic violence, burglary, sexual abuse and more are being recruited by police forces across the country?

Perhaps she’s unaware that the End Violence Against Women Coalition has made it clear the government’s “Bill of Rights”, replacing the Human Rights Act, represents “a direct attack on women’s rights and a major step backwards for victims’ and survivors’ ability to seek justice”?

And that her government was warned these proposals threatened women’s ability to challenge the state’s failures to protect them, while allowing the police and CPS to evade scrutiny – despite government acknowledgement of failures such as the kidnapping, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer, and countless other findings of misogynistic culture in forces across the country?

Surely she knew that prosecutions and convictions for rape had fallen by 60 per cent and 50 per cent respectively in the five years up to 2021 – but it didn’t stop her from failing to vote on a June 2021 motion including proposals for new statutory minimum sentences for rape, to make misogyny as a hate crime, a minimum provision of Rape and Serious Sexual Assault Offence units in police forces, training for teachers to help identify and respond to child victims of domestic abuse, a new street sexual harassment offence, and more.

Actions speak louder than words. Perhaps if Angela Richardson is concerned about a lack of funding to keep public toilets open, and its impact on women and girls, she should look at why this funding gap exists, and her government’s record on protecting women and girls.

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