Today the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill returned to Parliament. 

As it stands, the Tories’ Bill fails to protect or deliver justice for victims and is not fit for purpose. This evening, I am supporting Labour’s amendments and will vote for far stronger laws to protect victims who are being failed by the crisis the Tories have created in the justice system including: 

– a new minimum sentence for rape 

– less traumatic ways for victims of sexual assault to give pre-recorded evidence prior to trial

– tougher sentences to protect retail workers from assault

– a new sentence for stalking

– a review of sentencing for domestic homicide and abuse 

– stronger sentences for pet theft 

We have put forward credible proposals to strengthen the law and make our system more responsive to victims’ experiences. However the Tories have consistently voted against them and are hastening through a Bill without allowing time for the scrutiny it deserves.

The result? An ill-thought-out Bill which looks to lock up protesters for damaging statues of slave owners longer than those who rape women and which isn’t tough on crime but is tough on our freedoms and civil liberties.

This Bill should be the watershed moment to help fix our broken criminal justice system. Instead the UK Government has failed on all fronts. I urge colleagues across the political spectrum to vote to ensure victims are seen, supported and protected and to urge the government to reconsider.

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