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Labour accuses Tories of lack of leadership as home secretary calls David Carrick rape revelations ‘dark day for British policing’ – live | Politics


Labour accuses government of ‘lack of leadership on police standards for years’

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, is responding to Braverman.

She says the David Carrick case shows an appalling catalogue of failures. Suella Braverman’s response was “very weak” and showed a “serious lack of leadership”, she says.

She says the Metropolitan police should have acted against Carrick much earlier. There was a rape allegation against him in July 2021, and the Met did not act, even though they knew that he had been the subject of domestic abuse allegations two years earlier.

She says there has been a “lack of leadership from the government on police standards for years”.

Labour would completely overhaul the police misconduct and standards system, she says.

UPDATE: Cooper said:

We have to face up to the further evidence that this case has brought up, of appalling failures in the police vetting and misconduct processes that are still not being addressed by the government and are not being addressed in this statement.

I would say to the home secretary that given the scale of the problems, not just in this case, but in previous cases as well, her statement is very weak and it shows a serious lack of leadership on something that is so grave and affects confidence in policing as well as serious crimes …

After the cases right across the country of abuse or of misogyny, Labour has demanded change. Conservative ministers promised action would be taken but they have failed to do so.

Labour will change the law, Labour will overhaul the vetting, misconduct and standards system, because it is time to change and we are letting down police officers across the country who do excellent work and who are being let down by these failures in the system, and most of all women are being let down.

Key events

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Paul Bristow (Con) says that for the SNP this is just about “bashing the UK” and that for them the rights of women are just “collateral damage”.

Jonathan Gullis (Con) says the politicisation of the rights of girls and women by the SNP is “an abomination”.

Mhairi Black, the SNP’s deputy leader at Westminster, says the Scottish bill was the most consulted on in the parliament’s history. So the claim it was rushed is a “lie”, she says.

Ben Bradshaw (Lab) says Jack in his statement did not give a clear explanation as to why the Scottish bill undermines the Equality Act. It is not enough for Jack to say he will publish something. Can he explain it now? And what will the government do about foreign nationals who come to the UK from countries that have a form of self-recognition.

On the latter point, Jack says the equalities minister has done a written statement on this.

Jack says the statement of reasons explains how the Scottish bill would impact on two UK laws. He does not want to “bore everyone to death” by going through those reasons now, he says.

Caroline Johnson (Con) says the SNP rushed this bill through the Scottish parliament.

That generates shrieks of outrage from some SNP MPs. The Scottish government spent six years consulting on, preparing and passing the bill.

Jack says 347 bills have gone through the Scottish parliament, and this is the first time a section 35 order has been used.

Rachel Maclean (Con) says there is a clear risk that the Scottish bill could lead to Scottish trans women coming to the UK to access single-sex spaces.

Jack says the government is concerned to protect women and girls. He repeats his claim that there is a risk of “bad faith actors” exploiting this law. (See 1.54pm.)

Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Lab) says the government opened up a debate on reforming the Gender Recognition Act five years ago, but did nothing about it. Now it is using this to attack the Scottish government. He says the claim that the UK government is motivated by equality concerns is a lie.

Jack says the Lady Haldane judgment from December (see 10.39am) is part of what has created a problem, as the UK government sees it.

Tim Loughton (Con) says what most concerns him about the Scottish legislation is the fact it gives 16-year-olds the right to decide to change gender. He accuses the SNP of weaponising this issue for political purposes, and exploiting vulnerable children.

Jack says he agrees.

Sir Bernard Jenkin (Con) says he was Tory spokesperson on devolution when the Scottish devolution legislation was being debated in 1998. He says the Labour government at the time that equal opportunities rights were not be devolved. There was a vote, and the SNP lost the vote on this. And so the SNP should accept the terms of devolution. And, referring to Labour, he says the architects of devolution have been replaced by “weasels”.

He is referring to Labour’s reluctance now to say whether it is for or against the use of the section 35 order.

Philippa Whitford, the SNP’s Scotland spokesperson, says this is an unprecedented attack on the Scottish parliament.

Gender recognition is a devolved issue, she says.

The Scottish bill will not give extra rights to people with a gender recognition process.

She says the UN recommends changes to a statutory gender recognition process of the kind introduced by Scotland, and many other countries have done the same.

She says the bill will not change the Equality Act. She asks Jack to explain why he thinks it will. And she asks why the government did not raise concerns about this until the very last month.

She accuses him of using “one of the most marginalised groups in society” to pick a fight with the Scottish government.

And she points out that for hundreds of years Scotland had different laws on things like age and marriage.

Jack says he disagrees with most of what Whitford said. He says his reasons will be set out in the statement coming later.

Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader (he is an MSP as well as an MP), accuses Nicola Sturgeon of trying to turn this into a “political battle” when all the UK government is trying to do is protect the rights of women and girls.

Jack is responding to Murray.

He says the legal test under section 35 is “adverse effect”. The government has concluded there was adverse affect in two areas.

The details will be in the “statement of reasons” being published today, he says.

Ian Murray, the shadow Scottish secretary, says this is an incredibly serious moment.

He says the public have been let down by the conflict between the Scottish and UK government. This has been allowed to turn into a “constitution bunfight”.

He says, if the Scottish government is right about their bill not undermining UK equality law, the courts will strike out the section 35 order.

He asks Jack to give details of how the bill would undermine UK law.

And he suggests the government should ask the Equality and Human Rights Commission to advice on how the Scottish law can be compatible with UK equality law.

Labour supports updating gender recognition law, he says.

Alister Jack tells MPs Scottish gender recognition bill could allow ‘more fraudulent or bad faith applications’

Alister Jack, the Scottish secretary, tells MPs that he has issued a section 35 order to stop the Scottish gender recognition reform bill getting royal assent.

He says the government will be publishing a document today setting out in details its reasons.

He says section 35 was included in the Scotland Act for an occasion like this. This is not an attack on devolution, he says. And the fact that the power has not been used before shows it is not being used lightly.

He says the Scottish legislation would undermine UK equality law.

He says he hopes the UK and Scottish governments can work together on a new bill.

UPDATE: Jack said:

I have not taken this decision lightly. The government has looked closely at the potential impact of the bill and I’ve considered all relevant policy and operational implications together with the minister for women and equalities.

And it is our assessment that the bill would have a serious adverse impact among other things on the operation of the Equality Act 2010.

Those adverse effects include impacts on the operation of single-sex clubs, associations and schools and protections such as equal pay.

The government shares the concerns of many members of the public and civic society groups regarding the potential impact of the Bill on women and girls.

The bill also risks creating significant complications from having two different gender recognition regimes in the UK and allowing more fraudulent or bad faith applications.

The government is today publishing a full statement of reasons alongside the order which will set in full the adverse effects the government is concerned about.

Braverman’s statement on David Carrick – snap verdict

Suella Braverman only became home secretary in October last year. The problem with misogyny and criminality in the Met police (and other forces) goes back years and decades, and so no one can fairly blame her for the culture that allowed David Carrick to get away with what he did for so long.

And no one was blaming her personally when she delivered her statement. Even Yvette Cooper was careful to stress that her criticism was aimed at the record of the government over years.

But, on an occasion like this, a minister does have to convince MPs that they have grasped the seriousness of the problem, and that they have the authority and grip to do something about it. And that’s where Braverman fell down today. She announced that the Wayne Couzens review would be expanded to cover the Carrick case, and she announced a review into police dismissals.

Yet neither of these announcements seemed to impress her own MPs – let alone the opposition – and what was really telling was the number of Tory backbenchers who said they agreed with Harriet Harman, the former Labour deputy leader, who called for the sacking of officers and managers who had allowed Carrick to get away with what he did.

In the past, rightwing Tory MPs used to dismiss Harman as the epitome of what the Daily Mail would call “wokeness”. The fact that this afternoon they thought she was talking more sense than Braverman shows quite how weak the home secretary’s performance was.

Philip Hollobone (Con) says he agrees totally with what Harriet Harman said about the need for the government to bring forward new regulations now to allow the police to sack corrupt officers more easily.

Braverman agrees. She says action is being taken.

Theresa Villiers (Con) says she has seldom seen such a “palpable sense of shock” in the Commons as she has seen today.





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