Labour MPs will vote against the Government’s new policing bill when it is presented to Parliament for its second reading this week, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice David Lammy has said.
Officially the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, the bill will be debated on Monday. If passed, the legislation will hand more powers to police to allow them to take a “more proactive approach” to managing “highly disruptive” protests. It is thought the bill could also see time limits and noise limits placed on future protests.
The legislation has been criticised by civil rights groups as threatening freedom to protest, and the bill has also sparked concerns in recent days following the death of Sarah Everard.
In a statement on Sunday, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Justice David Lammy said;
“The tragic death of Sarah Everard has instigated a national demand for action to tackle violence against women.
“This is no time to be rushing through poorly thought-out measures to impose disproportionate controls on free expression and the right to protest.
“Now is the time to unite the country and put in place on long overdue protections for women against unacceptable violence, including action against domestic homicides, rape and street harassment. And we must tackle the misogynistic attitudes that underpin the abuse women face.
“Instead, the Conservatives have brought forward a Bill that is seeking to divide the country. It is a mess, which could lead to harsher penalties for damaging a statue than for attacking a woman.
“Labour will be voting against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill on this basis. We are calling on the Government to drop its poorly thought-out proposals and instead work with Labour to legislate to tackle violence against women which is forcing so many across the country to live in fear. As well as to deliver the important areas that are long promised, like tougher sentences for attacks on frontline workers and increased sentences for terrorists.”