Déjà vu all over again as Labour leftwinger backs women-only train carriages

Written by David Singleton on 23 August 2017 in Diary
Diary

And female Labour MPs say it's a terrible idea.

Two years ago, in the middle of August, Jeremy Corbyn floated the idea of introducing women-only train carriages in Britain as a measure to protect women from sexual harassment.

"Some women have raised with me that a solution to the rise in assault and harassment on public transport could be to introduce women only carriages," said the then Labour leadership contender.

"My intention would be to make public transport safer for everyone from the train platform, to the bus stop to on the mode of transport itself. However, I would consult with women and open it up to hear their views on whether women-only carriages would be welcome - and also if piloting this at times and modes of transport where harassment is reported most frequently would be of interest.."

But as leadership rivals Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper condemned the idea, Corbyn’s campaign were keen to stress that it was a proposal that could be consulted on rather than a concrete policy.

 


Now, in the middle of August, one of Corbyn’s front bench allies has made a bid to resuscitate the idea.

Chris Williamson pointed to figures uncovered by the BBC last month showed that 1,448 sexual offences on UK trains were reported in 2016-17 – up from 650 in 2012-2013.

The shadow fire minister told PoliticsHome: "Complemented with having more guards on trains, it would be a way of combating these attacks, which have seen a very worrying increase in the past few years."

But after facing a backlash from Labour MPs including Jess Phillips and Stella Creasy, the MP for Derby North has stressed that he is not suggesting a concrete policy of women-only train carriages. Rather, that it is merely a proposal that could be consulted on.

Who will raise it again in 2019?

 

 

 

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